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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

University Student Senate Statement


Below is an unedited statement sent to The Hawk from University Student Senate.

On Dec. 6, 2021, the 21st Session of the University Student Senate officially delivered its statement regarding Mr. James J. Maguire’s letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

To the Student Body,

On November 23, 2021, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported a letter written by Mr. James J. Maguire (Saint Joseph’s University, Class of 1958) in which he cut off all financial contributions to the University of Pennsylvania due to Penn basketball players not standing during the national anthem.

Mr. Maguire sent a copy of his letter to Dr. Reed (President of Saint Joseph’s University) and Dr. Jill Bodensteiner (Athletics Director at Saint Joseph’s University), asking them to “uninvite [Penn’s] team to their campus on December 8th for that game…[because] to openly support disrespect to our country and to our flag is wrong and [Mr. Maguire does] not want to be part of this disrespect.”

We, the University Student Senate, are extremely disappointed.

We are extremely disappointed that a donor so integral to Saint Joseph’s University would demonstrate such a lack of empathy and respect for not only the leadership and students of our University, but for the very principles on which our country and our University prides itself.

Mr. Maguire’s rash assertions and use of financial leverage in an attempt to coerce our University’s leadership in a direction that does not support students, on the basis that he does not agree with a form of first amendment protected peaceful protest by athletes, is deeply disturbing.

Higher education needs a significant amount of funding to be successful, and we are truly grateful for the $75 million that Mr. Maguire has donated over his lifetime to our University. However, using financial privilege in an attempt to curb peaceful protests on a college campus is a direct threat to our University’s mission, wherein we are called to be engaged citizens who strive to be inclusive and to care for the whole person.

The Student Senate will have materials available in our office (Campion 229B) to help you make your voice heard. We stand with the athletes of the University of Pennsylvania who are embracing the Jesuit model of being “people with and for others” by standing up against racial injustice in America. We implore our Student Body to stand in solidarity by wearing black at the basketball game on Wednesday, December 8 to show support for this peaceful protest. #THWND

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