Marywood should better represent other religious holidays


Photo credit/ Photo Credit / Joseph Petro

The Christmas tree in the rotunda is being decorated in this photo from Dec. 2012.

Patrick Kernan, Opinion Editor

Christmas is coming, and all Marywood students know what that means: the return of the giant Christmas tree in the Rotunda at the Liberal Arts Center.

And, with the Christmas tree comes the single, small menorah, easy to miss amongst the Christmas festivities.

Marywood is a Catholic school; this is obvious even from looking at the University’s name, as it reflects a long tradition of revering Mary in the Roman Catholic Church.

But just because Marywood is a Catholic university does not mean that all of its students are themselves Catholic. The University is a microcosm of society, and groups from various walks of life are represented here.

Marywood prides itself in being a multicultural community, an image that is promoted on a bulletin board in the LAC–just down the hall from where the Christmas tree stands–and has a growing population of international students. But sometimes I feel like the only culture represented on campus is that of the supposed majority.

Do I have any real right to complain? As a Roman Catholic of Irish descent, my traditions are fairly well represented here at Marywood.

But I would still love to see more representation of other traditions from around the world.
In addition to Christmas, many of our students celebrate holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, and the Islamic New Year in the final three months of the year.

Personally, I would love to see menorahs for Hanukkah, lights for Diwali, and symbols around campus of all of the cultural and religious holidays that the university’s students celebrate.
After all, what is the point of college if not to learn about the cultures of other people? If we, as a university community, make non-Catholic holidays more important, we will all get a great chance to learn more about each other.

I love the Christmas tree in the Rotunda, and I can’t wait for its debut this year. But, I hope that, maybe next year, we will see some other cultures represented in the Rotunda throughout the entire year.

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