Transplanted Katrina Students: Don’t Listen to the Bad Eggs

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Villanova University’s response to Hurricane Katrina is commendable for its sure-footed swiftness and wide-ranging breadth. I would not have expected less from an operation spearheaded by Kathy Byrnes.

I had hoped students from the affected area would feel happy — and lucky — to be welcomed by Villanova faculty, staff, and students for the semester. I hoped (selfishly, perhaps) those transplants might just like it enough to stick around our campus for good. After all, in my five years here, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Unfortunately, it seems the welcome from a small minority of students has been less than warm. Having one bad egg is disheartening; to have it spoil the whole bunch, unfair to the entire Villanova community and uncalled for by any stretch of even the most twisted imagination.

Now, all I can hope is that our new students will come to realize that people who make crass comments such as “Why don’t you go back to Tulane? Oh wait…it’s not there anymore” are not in any way representative of the Villanova whole. They are, instead, exemplary of a culture that promotes the pervasive social and racial injustice that marred regions of the Gulf Coast — and, indeed, many parts of our country — well before the first raindrop from Katrina was ever felt.

— Ian Bush ’04Wayne, PA