Emphasis on Ener’s Plaque is misguided

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Over the past few weeks, the controversy over Mine Ener’s memorial and it’s subsequent removal has incited the emotions of the campus. Basically everybody has heard the story by now, and for better or for worse, the plaque is gone. However, I fear that Ener will be remembered more for her plaque than her life.

One of the main arguments in favor of the plaque was in a spirit of forgiveness; to emphasize her remarkable traits as a human being, not the few actions that led to her demise. Villanova soon found itself in a wave of national controversy, but this was not the result of people willing to withhold judgement. It was a result of the dedication of the library in her name. Soon people started to think about the plaque more than the person, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of this.

On his show, Bill O’Reilly made a point that the memorial would never had been established if Ener had not committed suicide. His point suggested that the plaque was a bad idea, but I got something different out of his assertion. Many of us were willing to remember Ener’s great qualities posthumously, ut how many of us would have been casting stones if she was simply the teacher who was in jail? How many of us are less willing to forgive people who are alive? It is human nature to be more compassionate when something tragic puts everything else into perspective. The challenge is to retain that compassion when we are back in the “real world” and a teacher gives us back a bad test paper, or when a roommate is being obnoxious.

How does this all relate to the Mine Ener controversy? It should never have been the focal point of our memories for this teacher. I believe the university had it’s best intention at heart through the entire mess, and a memorial was probably a nice idea. Still, Ener does not need the memorial. Neither do we. What we need is a willingness to forgive in our heart, while Ener needs prayers.

While we’re at it, let’s forgive our acquaintances as though you may never see them again. One of these days, you’ll be right.