Mercy Ministry Center: The Discussion Continues with Michael Sennett

Cheyanne Daniels

November 8th, 2017


Members of Saint Xavier’s Campus Ministry – Cheyanne Daniels

On Thursday, November 2, eight student leaders met with Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Tony Campbell, and four faculty members to continue the discussion on the move of the President’s Office into the Conference Room of the Mercy Ministry Center.

Michael Sennett, a senior, RA, and the Peer Minister for both the Quest Retreat and Senior Retreat, described the meeting as similar to the forum that took place on Friday, October 27.

“As students,” Sennett said, “we once again voiced our concerns, citing legitimate reasons such as privacy, space, and principle, to name a few.

“Dr. Campbell’s strategy was to say that ‘administration is ministry,’ which we, as student leaders, disagree with. Another argument of his is that Dr. Joyner wants to embody the Mercy mission of the university…”

The argument that administration is ministry is an interpretation of the University’s Mission Statement.

The statement reminds members of the SXU community that the University is an institution of not just the Sisters of Mercy, but the Roman Catholic Church.

“Therefore, it is the administration’s duty to make sure the University follows this Mission Statement, and thus the Roman Catholic Church.

Campbell has repeatedly stated that, as Joyner serves as head of the University, moving her into Mercy Ministry Center would send the message that the University truly believes in, and follows, this Mission Statement.

Yet, while members of Administration continue to present their reasonings, frustrations within Campus Ministry continue rising as they wait for President Joyner to acknowledge their own arguments.

“Our number one frustration is the absence of Dr. Joyner on this issue, coupled with the lack of communication that has been present since the beginning,” Sennett said.

“Dr. Campbell can only do so much, and he’s not the one making the decisions here. He’s made it clear that he’s not Laurie Joyner, and we are well aware of that. This is why we’ve been firm on meeting with Dr. Joyner, and hopefully we get the chance.”

Members of Campus Ministry are hoping to get this chance early next week.

“Unfortunately, President Joyner was not at the meeting on Thursday. We did ask why she was not present, and were firm that we needed to talk to her. To his credit, Tony did promise—and yes, he did say the word ‘promise’—that we could speak to Dr. Joyner. He said that this upcoming Monday or Tuesday, he would schedule a meeting with those of us present, and that he would invite her to listen.

“The meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday,” Sennett continued, “but we have not been told if Joyner will be present at this time. Campus Ministry, nor any other student leaders, have had any contact with the President yet.”

In spite of their frustrations, Campus Ministry has said they will remain peaceful and respectful as they continue their fight. One of the ways they will continue this is through hosting a week of “Comfortable Cup of Tea.”

‘’Comfortable Cup of Tea’ is an event that we have been hosting in the Mercy Ministry Center (MMC),” Sennett explained.,“The SXU community is invited to join us in the MMC to study or complete homework, or even relax, while enjoying a cup of tea.

“The idea came from a quote by Catherine McAuley. As she was dying, she asked her sisters to have a comfortable cup of tea waiting for those around them, as a symbol of hospitality. That is what our tea demonstrates: hospitality. We want to make a statement about what our space means to us, and those in our community. A professor even brought her class there.”

The students also plan on making “Mercy Matters” buttons and handing them out early next week in the Mercy Ministry Center.

“We feel that it’s a good way to promote our cause and bring light to the issue,” Sennett said, “We are the underdogs, but we are not giving in. We will continue to talk, but it is up to them [Administration] to listen.”

Cheyanne Daniels

News Editor

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