Students may initially view the Ignatian Days organized by faculty as just another day off of school, but within the moodle page lies an imperative tool for reflection over the issues of drugs and alcohol. While the subject matter may be an uncomfortable issue to many, Ignatian principles of discernment require these aspects of our morality as Christians to be examined.
The Wednesday began with an abstract and video, courtesy of Mr. David Myers of the Stage and Film department. In the presentation, we hear the same monologues performed during the Friday prayer service, reflections that provide insight on the gravity and social stipulation surrounding substance abuse. After the video comes to a close, participants would move on to the guided discussion portion.
When crafting the discussion questions for the survey, the counseling staff had to consider a number of variables to best tailor it to meet the needs of as many students as possible. Mr. David Williams ’96, Sophomore Drug and Alcohol Counselor, discussed with us the nature of the decisions. He listed out their priorities as “one:we offered them a reminder of what Jesuit’s policy is, which we did in the very first page, and two: try and create a conversation between the parents and the kids.”
Once we’re done with the google form Questions, the second section asks to which monologue from the video do you most relate? Users have the options of a designated driver who gets caught driving under the influence after a long night at a concert, an Air Force enlistee caught with alcohol in his car, an underclassmen trying to fit in, and a disgruntled parent dealing with a delinquent sophomore. While all of these stories are from different points of view, all of them offer a similar message regarding the negative impact of alcohol in terms of adverse health effects and legal penalties.
Selecting the monologue that one most relates to sends you to a page where you can pick from a variety of topics related to that monologue. From there, specialized information regarding specific concerns becomes available. On the next page, the counseling staff offers us one opportunity for reflection, an opportunity to pray the Examen. The prayer selected is the First Principle and Foundation of St. Ignatius.
Mr. Williams proposes that it is dangerous to make any sort of generality about the student body. “In that scenario, you are glazing over that part of the population, a very large part of the population.” He also mentions three factors that make up a good, sound decision maker. “Jesuit, a parent, and a kid, all on the same page. If one of these things is slightly off, then this [opportunity] is a way to correct that slightly.”
The student body as well as The Roundup offers a special thanks to the other contributors to I-Day that were not mentioned: Coach Weeks from the athletic department, Dr. Gruninger from the science department, Mr. Segal from the psychology department, Mrs. Crowder from the Campus Ministry Department, and assistant principal Dr. Kirby.