Shortly after the March 17 festivities (known by unruly students as St. P*trick’s Day) Dr. Spina met with SGA to discuss the detestable neighborhood camaraderie found on campus over the holiday weekend. At the meeting, Spina began listing off the names of 12 cities. Each of the 12 cities’ nightly news had broadcast footage of the anarchistic bedlam on UD’s campus. He further commented:
“All have in their mind that the University of Dayton is about what happened on March 17… that’s really crappy news. As we go to recruit students from those places, as we go to recruit faculty and staff, as we spread the good news that is the University of Dayton, that’s what we have to overcome: what folks saw yesterday.”
Spina is RIGHT! Won’t you think of the recruitment!?
It is definitely St P*trick’s Day making the nightly news that is the biggest barrier to recruiting new students. There is zero chance that any difficulty recruiting is related to the fact that the school rankings are tumbling while tuition is skyrocketing. It is common knowledge that prospective students don’t mind high tuition or dwindling prestige. And even if they did, could the university president even control these things!? I think not! Spina must focus on what he can control: banning internationally celebrated holidays from existence by not saying their name.
Spina knows that when prospective students look at Dayton they see the completely unnatural behavior of celebrating on St Patrick’s Day…and they HATE us for it. Such celebrations are isolated to the University of Dayton and found nowhere else. Spina knows this and, in his infinite wisdom, knows prospective students will reject any school that looks like fun.
Furthermore, the responses I have seen imply that Spina doesn’t understand community. Hogwash! If anyone should be pontificating on what community means, it was definitely the guy who was schmoozing a community of donors a time zone away and not at the gathering of UD students. These idiot students ought to take some of that time they are currently using to live, learn, and have fun together and allocate it towards learning what community is.
But I am not one to criticize without a solution. I have reached out to Spina and asked what makes a good community. He responded to my email with his two pillars of quality communities, both of which he has shown laser focus on during his administration:
- Growing the endowment – the strongest communities have strong financial endowments. Great donations make great communities. Students can help build the community by volunteering to call alumni and ask for cash.
- No dental work – if you are spending time at the orthodontist you are not spending time building a community.
I know you have the knee-jerk reaction to reject this. Perhaps you want to attend a gathering of students instead of finding donors. Perhaps you just want your teeth to look good. But I urge you to respect his authority here. There is a reason he has been given a pulpit, from which he may lecture about community, while we are just members of the crowd together.
The point is, he’s not just watering down the lesson of community taught to us by the Marianists who live among us in the Ghetto. He really gets it. In fact, he’s the first layman president of UD to live in university housing just like a student. That’s dedication to community, right?
Doubt me? If you ever want to talk to Spina, all you have to do is step out of your crumbling home, walk to the edge of the neighborhood, a mile into up the hill into Oakwood and knock on the door to his million dollar UD-owned home. Herr Spina would be happy to hear your feedback about what community means (as long as he’s not too busy calling in heavily armed police to break up gatherings of students.)