Examen is an opportunity for change


Michael Bauer

The sun sets on Holy Name of Jesus Church on Sept. 24, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches all around New Orleans have shut their doors and cancelled mass, leaving student-musicians who play during the services out of work.

The Mission Priority Examen is a year-long study of Loyola’s Jesuit ideals and values. The process involves looking back at Loyola’s past experience with mission, looking in at the current state of the university and looking ahead at how to improve and continue executing Jesuit ideals. This month is the listening month, when a committee meets with selected groups and community members to hear their experiences and perspectives on how Loyola has been carrying out its mission — and how it could do better.

Now, many of you may be thinking that none of this applies to you. Whether it’s because you aren’t Catholic, or you just don’t care, this process may seem like a huge waste of time. Many of you may not even have any idea that we’re even undergoing the Examen. You’ve probably walked by the large banner on the Danna Center 50 times and never given it a second thought. And you definitely aren’t alone. There seems to be a sense of disregard and lack of knowledge about this entire process across campus. But, that shouldn’t be the case.

This is your chance to tell the school how you really feel about anything and everything. If you don’t like the way something is being done, this Examen is your tangible path to change.

In addition to the stakeholder group listening sessions, the Examen also includes a survey portion for students to voice their opinions and concerns. It asks a variety of questions, from how the school’s mission is reflected in classes and activities, to whether or not you think Loyola should even stay a Jesuit institution, The survey is on the Mission Examen website, and it will stay up beyond the month of September. The Rev. Justin Daffron, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry said students will be given notice before the survey is removed to allow as many people to have their voices heard as possible.

The Examen steering committee will read the surveys and, from that, come up with three to five initiatives for Loyola to achieve within the next half decade.

Your answers to this survey could change the direction the school is going for the next five years. You could make real, impactful change. Something we know most of you are hungry to do.

We know you all are actively vocal about what you believe. A recent petition about condoms got over 1,100 signatures. If all these signatures are valid students, that’s almost half the student body. We love that you all speak your minds, and here is the perfect chance to do it on an even larger scale. It’s as if the Jesuits handed it to us on a silver platter.

Don’t waste this opportunity to enact change here. Loyola needs your voice.