By Jonathan Beirne
Johnnie/Tommie weekend (Sept. 23–25) was a record breaking event, as well as an opportunity to show off our incredible campus and community to hundreds if not thousands of visitors, prospective students and alumni. While this was partially accomplished, through the beautiful and awe-inspiring display at Target Field, our community did display what has become a not-so-friendly social culture in St. Joseph.
At any school throughout the country, there is a specifically shaped social culture: from your basic meet and greets, to casual house parties, as wells as bar/pub culture. This is a detrimental aspect of schools, not as an excuse to drink too much, but rather to be able to cope with tougher aspects of the school; also, this enables students to branch out of our normal comfort zones and socialize/interact with our peers.
These activities, however, are becoming less available as the year has progressed, and a particularly aggressive stance against this aspect of our school has been taken by both school administrations, as well as the St. Joseph Police force. All students have received the numerous emails from the administration, some what condemning a social culture which in my opinion has increasingly become more and more limited over previous years. The police department this year has also ramped up the way in which they handle social gathering at student homes; many students, both of age and underage have experienced this firsthand.
The stance taken by administrations and police department extends to bars, many of which are frequently visited and thoroughly examined by police officers during operating times. It is important to note that this increase in police presence is not the complaint of this article, this article is intended to expose an aspect of our school (the social culture) that is continuously changing.
In bars students, especially out of state students, get grilled at the door and are furthermore interrogated by roaming police officers who seem to be on a prowl of sorts looking for students to escort outside in hopes of detaining an underage student. This specific action being taken is beginning to seem like a source of harassment that students must endure week after week, and led to many students attending the St. John’s Senate meeting in Brother Willie’s Pub.
Despite CSB/SJU’s small size, our social culture is something that we pride ourselves on, a visual representation of the stereotypical “Minnesota nice” if you will.
It is my hope to one day be able to return to this school and enjoy an exciting, friendly, and safe social culture that has found a reasonable balance between policing and freedom to socially interact.