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Relay for Life rallies for faculty participation

April 7th, 2011

The annual Relay for Life raises a large amount of money for cancer research. Since John Carroll University began participating in the event, more than $200,000 have been raised. However, 96 percent of this has been raised by students, with little help from faculty participation.

During the past four years in which Relay for Life has taken place at JCU, there has never been a faculty team, and there has been a minimal amount of faculty involvement the day the event has taken place. It is time for this to change.

This year, Relay for Life will take place on the Hamlin Quad from 1 p.m. on Saturday,  April 30 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 1. The Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., will deliver the opening prayer. Service and charity are among the foundational missions of Jesuit organization. If the employees of JCU do not abide by the beliefs of the University, it appears that Jesuit values are not actually valued by members of the community.

The Relay for Life planning committee, which consists of 13 students and a faculty advisor, believes the number of participants will double as the event approaches. As of March 4, only two of the 310 participants signed up were faculty members. This does not exhibit a sense of service to the Jesuit values that JCU upholds.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to lead students intellectually inside the classroom and through action and example outside of it. If the University’s faculty does not teach by example and act as role models for students, they are not fulfilling their responsibility as instructors of a Jesuit institution of higher education.

The Relay for Life committee has presented their need for more support at three separate faculty meetings and has individually contacted professors that they know personally. The committee challenges the faculty to support the cause and support Relay for Life with higher attendance and donations. The deficient response to the committee’s plea for help demonstrates a lack service, charity and responsibility.

While the participation and support from JCU faculty is significantly lacking, this is not true for all faculty members. The committee does acknowledge that certain faculty members have been very helpful with the Relay for Life program. There is a small amount of faculty support, but it only represents four percent of the total participation rate. The Relay for Life event needs more JCU faculty participation by forming teams. Support from faculty would demonstrate the Jesuit values of service and charity. With more involvement, the University’s faculty would set a better example for students and the community.