Column: Removal of Katrina memorial was disrespectful


The Maroon



Editors note: The memorial was returned to its original location after filming ended.

So I’m sure by now that everyone saw the new additions to the Academic Quad because of “22 Jump Street.”

While everyone had been talking about the new objects that the film crew added, there seemed to be no hint of talking about what was taken away. I feel that the latter should have been the focus of our conversation.

In the middle of the walkway between Bobet and Marquette, there is a Katrina memorial put there to thank all of the schools across the country that housed and taught Loyola students during 2005-2006. During filming, there was a crudely made sculpture of wooden chairs and zip ties in its place.

I find this to be highly insulting.

Unless I’ve been misinformed, there is not a single piece of art in that quad that has as much significance as the Katrina memorial. Yet it was the only sculpture that had been taken down for the movie set.

There are multiple levels to my disgust over this. As someone who was affected by the hurricane, I have strong emotions related to the topic, and I am sure that I’m not the only Loyola student who has these feelings.

Disregarding my obvious emotional bias, that memorial represents the history of this city, this school and the alumni, faculty and students who were in some way involved with this tragedy. It also honors all of the people who decided to extend a hand and help out those in need.

I would have thought that this meant something of great value to the school. But if something like this is easily given the okay to be removed, then it really shows how important all the emotions and history tied to this memorial are to the people in charge of this school.

In this technological era where even the most amateur filmmakers can use green screen editing techniques with ease, there is no excuse great enough to calm my outrage over this. And to be clear, I am not upset at those associated with the film. Most likely they didn’t know any better or were just trying to do their jobs as quickly as possible.

Those staff members of Loyola University who told the film crew that it was fine to completely remove the Katrina memorial from where it stood are the ones that I am upset with.

It might not be an outstanding work of art, and many people pass it each day without giving it a second thought. But that memorial has important emotional and historical value to the people at this school, especially those who were affected by Katrina.

I guess all of the money that Loyola is getting in return for “22 Jump Street” using their property is more important to some than the remembrance of a devastating event of New Orleans history.

The only real act of justice, in my opinion, is that these new sculptures were built with the intention of being destroyed a week after they were put up.

Brandi Wozniak is a music therapy junior and may be reached at [email protected]

Concrete egg sculptures sit in the Academic Quad. Such sculptures were added for the filming of “22 Jump Street,” while the Hurricane Katrina memorial was removed temporarily for the filming. (TIFFANY KUDIWU/Photo Editor)