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South Orange resident asks for student respect

Dear Editor:

I am a neighbor, and I live by Seton Hall for many years. I have heard our other neighbors complain of the noise and the rowdiness of students. I understand their complaints, as I have also been woken up at different times, but I understand the students' perspective as well. I went to college in a very similar setting, and I do not expect you to be angels, any more than we were. By in large I am happy as I think the school adds a great deal to our community, and several of the students have added tremendously to my young son's life and I am grateful.

One of my friends from college was named Chris. I was lucky, because I also went to high school with him. On September 11, Chris died at the World Trade Center. A year later, a white flag pole used in a memorial there was given to me to remember him. So I have flown that flag on that pole since 2002 – it has grown faded through the years, but it was in honor of him.

This weekend a group of students took it. For them, it was a prank, something insignificant – a memento of a fun evening perhaps. For me, I have lost… well… a friend.

So I write this to you, with the hope that you can convey to others in our shared community, a sense of our communal responsibility. Recognize that when you walk off the school grounds, that you walk into our lives. Like all people, we interact with too little care or knowledge of each other, but especially at this time of lent we are called to be mindful of each other. Like Chris and I who went to a Catholic school, you represent a Catholic school to our community – for good or ill. Being at Seton Hall should be different, and if it is not, then why not? Have you taken something that is significant for granted? What can you do to take up the flag, and to bear witness differently, so people do not ask what is the difference between going to a Catholic University and going to another institution?


Frank J. Evans

South Orange Resident


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