Dolan: Villanova, we have to talk

Mike Furno

Villanova, I am leaving you. We’ve been together four great years but I can’t stay any longer. It’s been a lot of fun, but I feel like you just haven’t been listening to me. Listening is an important part of any relationship, but I feel like I’ve been talking to myself for so long. I’ve tried to get through to you, but this is the last time you will hear from me.

You need to start practicing what you are preaching, Villanova. I think your values are so wonderful and they were some of the things that convinced me to sign on for four years, but sometimes you let me down when you don’t live up to what you believe in. I think its great that you are all about community and compassion. The Catholic social teaching stuff is great! I really admire that you help all those people in other countries on mission trips and Habitat for Humanity trips.

But you do all these wonderful things and still send mixed messages. Villanova, why do you pay your people so little? Why is the wonderful lady that scans my Wildcard at the Belle Air terrace not making a living wage? Only $6.90 per hour starting wages is not enough! How can you be so cold? They all work so hard for us. They deserve more than that.

I want you to aspire to something greater, Villanova. I want you to be better than the rest. Just because other schools don’t pay living wages doesn’t let you off the hook. I believed in you. I thought you had it in you. I thought I could change you, but maybe I can’t.

Do you remember that fight we had about sweatshop labor, Villanova? Did we ever resolve our differences? I know you were angry when my friends and I embarrassed you at the basketball game, but haven’t you gotten over that yet? I thought you promised to work harder on getting sweatshop-free clothing? Why do you still wear Nike shoes? Didn’t you go to the speaker last year and hear about the little girls that work in those factories?

Veritas, Villanova. You love the truth, but you have to embrace it, not deny it. The truth is, our Villanova sweatshirts are made in sweatshops. I don’t want you to live in denial. I thought it might work out, Villanova. I know you have tried a little bit, but I expected more. We can’t deny what’s really important to us. We have to stick to our guns. I am tired of hearing your empty words, Villanova.

Prove to me that you mean what you say. Prove to me that you believe in your religion, that you value all human life, that you wish to work for peace, that you want to love your neighbor, that you truly hold your values dear and view them as more than just words but ideas that translate into actions and results. Villanova, you know we can’t keep living like this.