The Merciad

Garvey Park’s name going away

Marina Boyle, Staff Writer

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As a Merciad writer, I have seen my fair share of articles on why we need to rename Garvey Park.

Even as a current freshman, I never expected to see it happen during my time here.

Finally getting to write that we are giving the park a new name is something truly bittersweet for me.

It is difficult because we must acknowledge the horrors that young people went through at the hands of powerful men and women who were supposed to protect them.

Our links to those people who committed such wrongdoing within the Erie community are shameful and deeply saddening.

That said, the acknowledgment is an acceptance of our past and the first step in rectifying it for our future.

The list of 51 clergy and laypeople credibly accused of sexual assault speaks volumes about a dark past.

The 43 years that Garvey spent at Mercyhurst cannot be erased like a plaque in a park or a portrait in a library, but the actions that President Victor and the Board of Trustees are taking are truly commendable first steps to reach out to those affected and to stand in solidarity with them.

In truth, this should have been done back in October 2004 when allegations first appeared, or when the Faculty Senate proposed the motion for renaming.

Even just this past August we praised Garvey upon his death, rang bells for him, and lowered our flag to half-mast.

We had no reason to praise him as such upon his death, and as many would agree, the name should have gone long ago.

That said, the moves are certainly better late than never.

To rename the park is something true to our Mercy heritage.

It encompasses our values of moral justice, sincerity and restorative action.

Most of all, it shows that we accept responsibility and want to give the victims any sense of healing that they may find in this.

With the actions I have seen by the administration this week, we are stepping up to the plate as best we can.

We are moving toward a more compassionate and honest future as a school and community.

In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, Mercyhurst has a role to play.

I have heard the name Advent Park thrown out as an option, as it describes the advent of a new era and vision.

I have also heard Justice Park, Mercy Common and McAuley Walkway.

I think most of us will not mind what we pick, as long as it is not Garvey.

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Garvey Park’s name going away