In reading Mr. Meyers’ Letter to the Editor in the Feb. 24 online edition of The Mirror, I am concerned that he concluded that hostilities toward student’s personal freedom and individual differences are under attack at Fairfield University. Father von Arx’s response was appropriate as the president of the University because despite living in privately-owned homes on the beach, the students are still affiliated with the University. Part of that affiliation is the belief in the University’s Jesuit teachings. While mockery, cultural send–ups, satire and lampooning are wholly acceptable in society, to dress and act in a stereotypical manner is not only insulting but cruel and potentially divisive.

While reading Mr. Meyers’ comments, I thought of Justice Holmes’ opinion in the case of Schenck v. United States in 1919. While “shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” is a popular metaphor for restricting speech or action, Holmes’ actual quote begins with the word “falsely.” One cannot hide behind the ideas of mockery, satire and lampooning when one dresses up in a racist send-up on how they perceive “ghetto people” dress. As president of the University, Father von Arx was not only correct to address this matter, but he was also correct as the spiritual leader of Fairfield. “Mercy is the first attribute of God. The name of God is mercy.” These words, as written by Pope Francis, allow us to address what occurred at this party and will then allow us to move forward in a positive direction when confronting these offensive actions.

Mr. Luca Puzzo


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-- Online Editor-in-Chief Emeritus-- Digital Journalism

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