Preparing for Solidarity Day

Jack McNabb, Writer

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Solidarity, the act of sharing perspective with others, especially those that face oppression. Last year, Loyola Academy’s Solidarity Day was a huge success, so why change it so much? Part of it may be people in charge, but another part may be the fact that our world is changing at an alarming rate. This is all in thanks to technology. And that is exactly the theme of this year’s Solidarity Day. This year’s Solidarity day will be part of a much larger entity, entitled Solidarity Project, all headed by Loyola Academy Campus Minister Mr. Knoth.

This year, students will not attend any classes on April 1st, but instead, must attend sessions and talks of their choosing. This is a lot different than last year, where students would attend the modules and simulations during their ethics, justice seminar, and American literature classes. This year, Mr. Knoth began the planning process with the hope that students have time to reflect and take action, as defined by the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm. “We ended with about 50 people in total, both faculty and students. Technology seemed to be the most relevant,” said Mr. Knoth when asked about how they came to the theme of technology. Mr. Knoth also spoke about the wide variety of breakout sessions and talks students can attend that have something or another to do with the topic of technology.

There are countless sessions students can attend on April 1st, one of which being a media ethics lesson for aspiring journalists given by Adam Lewandowski of the Newseum in Washington D.C.

When asked about the importance of education the youth on media and journalistic ethics, Lewandowski responded “It’s important to identify if a news source you follow actually applies a professional code of ethics to their work. It’s really easy for a website to mimic a traditional news source, yet publish misleading or biased stories a regular new organization would not post.”

Many of the sessions are geared toward students, as we are the ones attending these sessions. And I believe the team behind Solidarity Project achieved the goal the set out for; to provide an education experience for students. Mr. Knoth was not alone in the planning of Solidarity Project. The Loyola Academy Service Team (LAST) is a group of around 50 students, and among that group, a small group of leaders is selected to assist in the running of the many Campus Ministry events throughout the year.

Senior Fiona Wardrop is the student director of the Solidarity Project. When asked about her involvement in this years project, she responded “I was involved in creating some simulations last year with Mr. Finucane’s class. I enjoyed making and running them. This year, I am the Director. Mostly done by Mr. Knoth. But I would say we have been brainstorming and working on setting it up since October.”

Wardrop cannot work alone, and she has a group of dedicated students helping her with her work. Senior Emma Hahn is a member of the Solidarity Project committee and assists Wardrop in the planning of the day. When asked about how students can get the most out of he talks and sessions, she advises students to actually participate and give effort at the sessions. She says that since we don’t have school that day, many students would be encouraged to take the day off mentally, but she advises against this. We have been given a great chance to learn a lot about technology and this opportunity may not come again.

Students are in for a lot this Solidarity Day, but if this years changes turn out to be as successful as the team behind them claims them to be, then we are in for an amazing, educational day.