“Our view” is prepared by the Executive board and should be considered the institutional voice of The Record

Megan Flynn, Editor-in-Chief – [email protected]
Hope Mueller, Managing Editor – [email protected]
Ellen Bartyzal, Managing Editor – [email protected]
Brendan Klein, Opinion/Editorial Editor – [email protected]

As a student at CSB and SJU you are always encouraged to try new things – whether those things be classes, clubs, sports, volunteer opportunities, internships, etc. Engaging in these opportunities are important because they shape the collegiate experience. However, at our colleges it is easy to notice a gendered difference. Bennies almost always participate at a higher rate than their Johnnie counterparts.

 We aren’t saying there aren’t Johnnies who are involved or there aren’t Bennies who could do more. I’m sure we can all think of Johnnies who are constantly engaged, serving the campuses through leadership positions or participating in multiple clubs and activities. But the general difference between Bennie and Johnnie participation is noticeable. There’s an overarching trend that illustrates how Bennies are more involved.

 To cite a few examples – the application date for orientation leaders was pushed back multiple times in the effort to get more Johnnies to apply. It’s been a struggle to get Johnnies to apply for resident assistant positions. Fifty-eight percent of CSB graduates study abroad while only 41 percent of Johnnies do. It’s even reflected in students’ GPAs –  on average, Bennies consistently have higher grades than Johnnies. In the JEC’s presentation at the joint Senate meeting earlier this semester, both co-chairs addressed how garnering Johnnie participation is always one of their goals and is consistently difficult year-to-year. Surveys for student capstone projects consistently have a higher sample of Bennies than Johnnies – the ratio often hovers near 2:1. And these are just a few examples.

 This trend isn’t isolated in location or time – a 2012 article by the Star Tribune referenced student studies of CSB/SJU students that revealed women had higher GPAs and spent more time studying than men. Department of Education statistics show that nationally, women earn better grades in college than their male classmates.

One conclusion we could draw from this evidence is that Bennies are stepping up, which of course we applaud and encourage. However, on campuses like ours that are inherently gendered, we need both Bennies and Johnnies to be club leaders, team captains, orientation leaders and resident assistants. Our campuses function better when both Bennies and Johnnies step up to the plate and fill positions that enhance the community.

To those Johnnies that make a constant effort to be involved – we applaud you. To those who could do more, we invite you to step up to the plate. It’s never too late to start. Carpe Diem and try something new. You never know when it might pay off. At the very least you can change the narrative of Johnnies leaning out.