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We are the Blue Streak nation

February 18th, 2010

There are few things these days that bring people together. Divided for all sorts of reasons, a common interest among an entire nation is rare. It’s just the way things work.

But one event in particular that defies those boundaries is the Olympics. 

It is an anomaly so spectacular that it brings red and blue, white and black, gay and straight together. For these brief two weeks, we put away all of our differences to support the red, white and blue. 

Just as an example, when Apolo Ohno is coming around that final turn, seconds from a gold medal, we aren’t cheering against him. We don’t pray that he wipes out. We all cross our fingers, close our eyes and as one nation, believe. 

These athletes don’t do it for a $120 million contract, but for pride and glory. They train nine hours a day for three and a half years on pure will and motivation. What do they get? They get personal satisfaction, a medal and, most importantly, a chance to stand at the top of the podium and hear their national anthem played in front of hundreds of millions of people. 

We at John Carroll can learn something from this. 

JCU has been hit hard this year by tragedy. We’ve been torn apart by our differences. 

To put it simply, we’ve seen better days. 

Over the past week, I’ve seen the worst come out of people here at JCU. Factions have been established, enemies made and sides taken. I understand that you have the right to stand up for your beliefs and fight for what you think is right, but past history has shown that times like this eventually spiral out of control. The 1968 Democratic Convention riots in Chicago. The shootings at Kent State University. The Civil Rights riots in the south. 

All of these happened because people were unwilling to compromise and establish a common interest. 

Now, I’m not saying that something like this will happen, but I am saying this: If we don’t come together right now, as a school, we will fail. 

We will fail not only ourselves, but also everything that this community stands for. We will succumb to our own selfish desires. 

JCU is comprised of varying ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. It’s like a mini-nation. Each student contributes to the unique make-up of this school and adds something no one else can. I know we have our differences and maybe I’m wishing for a Utopian society, but we will never know for sure unless we try. 

To those students involved in the Feb. 3 protest, you may think that you have no mutual interest with the administration or whoever is standing in your way. Well, you’re wrong. 

One thing that no one can ever take from us is that we are all Blue Streaks. 

We will always be the Blue Streak nation. 

It’s not just a name, but it’s something we will always have in common. You may disagree with my beliefs or what I stand for and we may never see eye-to-eye, but what we will always share is our Blue Streak pride.

It’s time to work together as the Blue Streak nation. I cannot stand to see us so divided and hostile. You may argue that I’m asking you to give up what you stand for, but what I’m saying is that we need to handle this constructively. We must use our common interest and work together from here.

Students and administration need to put down their weapons and meet in the middle. 

We’re supposed to be “Men and women for others” right? 

Then start acting like it.