EDITORIAL: Write your rules, Loyola


Gabrielle Korein

A student is being handed a flier with the word ‘Veto’ on it. By not making a clear distinction in its rules, Loyola has made what is and isn’t allowed to be promoted confusing and unclear.

Jacob L'Hommedieu, Op/Ed Editor

If there is one thing that Loyola is clear about, it is the fact that it is a Jesuit institution that promotes a Catholic way of life. What Loyola is not clear enough about, though, is how far that Catholic way of life goes into influencing the university’s student code of conduct.

We students at Loyola are used to seeing fliers, pamphlet passers, and other advertisements for various organizations on campus. However, what you will not find on campus in any capacity is an organization that openly promotes pro-choice ideals, though, you’ll find plenty that are pro-life, like Wolf Pack for Life.

Now, as a private institution, Loyola’s administration does have the final say on what is and isn’t allowed on campus. For example, Loyola has banned the organization Turning Point USA from advertising on campus not only for its content, but also because they failed to follow the rules of getting permission to table on campus. Companies like Red Bull do guerilla marketing campaigns on campus where they pay students to run around and advertise their products without telling the administration. This is also not allowed.

But take for instance, the case of Elena Voisin. They were passing out fliers promoting a pro-choice rally on behalf of an organization outside of campus. This was done without prior permission and, based on Loyola’s code of conduct, was understandably ended. Whether LUPD had to be brought into the situation is up for wider interpretation. We say probably not, but that’s beside the point.

With this one case, new questions are raised. What if Voison had been a sole operator, acting on their own behalf to inform their fellow students? There is no rule against individuals passing out fliers in such a manner, and since it’s not an organization, there would be no need to apply the organizational code of conduct to an example such as this. If Voisin had been an individual, then there should have been no issues as the code says students are allowed to hand out fliers, regardless of content, as long as they do not scatter said material across the campus.

However, there would still most likely be formal opposition to such material being dispersed. Such opposition would have to stand on the incredibly shaky grounds of something called ‘Jesuit Catholic values,’ which Loyola cites as the reason it bars organizations from promoting any pro-choice dialogue on campus. The thing is, though, that there is no specific definition of these values in Loyola’s written rules. That leaves the question, who defines those Jesuit Catholic values?

While it is true that many people on campus do come from Catholic and Christian backgrounds, that still does not account for every person on campus. Not everyone will be familiar with what is considered passable under this vague statement, and even some Catholics may not know themselves, especially considering how haphazard the application of those rules are.

Going back to the idea that not everyone will know what Jesuit Catholic values means, what if someone assumes that, due to Catholicism having its roots in Judaism, thinks that Jewish law applies when it comes to abortion? Would that pass? We don’t know because it is left up for interpretation. All the rules seem to be is whatever makes the administration squirm.

Overall, relying on vague language and only a couple instances of precedent in order to uphold some kind of semblance of authority is ridiculous, to put it mildly. If the problem is abortion, then just say it, and don’t try and tip-toe around it. Yes, this is a private institution. And institutions have clear rules. For Loyola, that is its code of conduct. If you don’t want abortion advocacy or for it to even be talked about, put it in the code. Pony up, and write your rules, Loyola.