I am writing this blog to express the explicit of Mercyhurst Student Government for the hosting of Relay for Life on Mercyhurst University’s Main campus. For the past three years, Relay for Life has become an important part of campus tradition. Not only has the annual event amassed large amounts of funds for cancer research and awareness (in the last year alone, Mercyhurst surpassed its goal of raising $25,000 for the American Cancer Society with a grand total of $25,743), but it has also unified the campus by bringing together students, faculty and administration as a community to support those affected by the disease.
The news that the planners of this year’s Relay for Life were informed to investigate alternate locations for hosting the event has led to significant outcry from the campus community. While I understand the recommendation to host Relay for Life at the North East campus, we risk facing difficulties in terms of logistics and transportation. Many students, especially first year students who are not permitted to keep cars on campus, have said they might be unable to attend the event if it is held at a different location. Although transportation could be arranged, it would divert funds which could have otherwise gone to the charity. Various RSCOs and individual students have brought such concerns to Mercyhurst Student Government; many students feel the relay will not be as successful as it has the potential to be if it were held elsewhere.
While I recognize concerns that the Relay for Life event held on campus last year was not as well-planned as It could have been, I believe it is unfair to punish this year’s Relay for Life Committee for the mistakes of last year. As a leader of a number of different student organizations, I would be discouraged and disheartened if I were to be punished for past leaders’ decisions, actions or mistakes.
Cancer is a disease that has impacted many members of the Mercyhurst community. By holding this event on our main campus, we exemplify the university’s core values as ambassadors of service. This fundraising event teaches students to be globally responsible, socially merciful, and compassionately hospitable by coming together as one community to raise money to combat a global disease and support those affected by it. Students dedicate time and resources to organize this event, following the spirit and teachings of Mother Catherine McAuley. Reflecting the mercy tradition and our core values is important now more than ever because this is the Year of the University.
Mercyhurst Student Government, as the voice of the student body, requests that the Relay for Life Committee be given permission to host the event on the main campus.
Richard J. Molloy
enjamin McCormick, Patrick Coit, Jenna Dascanio, and Isaac Smith.