Students work for JUSTICE

Justice: the quality of being just, impartial or fair, according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

JUSTICE, Jesuit University Students Together In Concerned Empowerment, is a student-formed organization located on many Jesuit university campuses that works to further issues of social justice and service by working within the Ignatian, Jesuit tradition.

About 30 people attended the informational meeting held at 5 p.m. Monday in Campus Ministry, either representing social justice organizations such as Amnesty International or expressing personal interest in the program.

Founded 10 years ago, JUSTICE was originally a meeting of the student government leaders from the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities. It eventually expanded to any students interested in promoting social justice, said Tricia Fetcher, chair of JUSTICE at Saint Louis University.

According to an informational e-mail sent to students, “JUSTICE would like to empower and promote the many individuals and groups who serve our community through those many efforts.”

“We hope to serve as a clearinghouse of information related to social justice activities at the University,” said Harry O’Rourke of Campus Ministry. “I believe that we can better promote a faith that does justice if we better coordinate activities, or at the very least communicate the different activities more effectively.”

O’Rourke summed up the goals of JUSTICE by calling it a “process for helping foster a sense of cooperation, a sense of synergy among students.”

Fetcher said that one of the main reasons they are working fervently to gain student support is because the national conference will be held on the SLU campus Sept. 19-21, 2002.

The informational meeting was a chance for students to offer ideas on how to promote the group and for the current members to get some feedback.

“I went to the meeting Monday because I’m heavily involved in justice organizations and I would like to see them come together, not only at SLU, but on a nation-wide university level,” said sophomore Chris Lonergan.

One of the first plans JUSTICE has is a newsletter that would be distributed to members of the SLU community. The newsletter would be an opportunity for students to share ideas, stories and expressions, according to the leaders of JUSTICE.

The group also plans to continue printing the “Stall Street Journal,” an informational letter found inside the doors of bathroom stalls across campus every month.

Future plans include a Web calendar that would allow other social justice organizations to post their events. The national executive board is also working on a Web site, www.nationaljustice.org, which should be available sometime soon, said SLU JUSTICE leader Justin Lampe.

Students need not participate in the Jesuit faith tradition to contribute to JUSTICE, nor do other social justice organizations on campus in order to be a part of the JUSTICE program.

The SLU JUSTICE leaders, Fetcher, Allison Lind, Lampe, Megan Mercurio and Sara Jatcko meet every Monday at 5 p.m. in Campus Ministry in Busch Memorial Center. All students are welcome to attend.

Contributions to the newsletter as well as any questions or comments can be sent to [email protected]