On Dec. 1, the world celebrated its accomplishments in fighting HIV/AIDS and assessed the state of the AIDS epidemic. Across the United States and even in our own backyard students in various colleges and universities were made aware of this day.
The goal of World AIDS Day is to celebrate the milestones reached in slowly decreasing the transmission of the disease and to continue to spread awareness about the seriousness of the issue.
I am one who has been very passionate about educating my peers about the epidemic and how it affects us here at home. As a Mercyhurst College student, I expected and thought the college would recognize the day in some shape or form. As far as I am concerned, it was never mentioned or recognized by the school.
At a school known for service and a mission statement that works to build global citizens, overlooking World AIDS Day was in contrast to the ideals this school was built upon. I am angered that a school filled with the mission of service would let such a horrific disease go unrecognized. I am a senior of the college and only have five weeks left on this beautiful campus. I have only had to fulfill service in accordance with the school’s mission statement one time, as a freshman.
Currently 35.3 million people are affected with HIV/AIDS throughout the world. In the United States, the number is 1.2 million, and in our own backyard in Erie, there are roughly 50 cases. Just down the road at Gannon University, students are immersed in their Catholic education by completing service hours in order to graduate.
Gannon even has a week set aside for HIV/AIDS awareness. Personally, if Mercyhurst wants to stay on the leading edge of Catholic education and continue to grow, the college needs to reassess its mission statement and the best way to fulfill it.
Even so, the campus has done a great job in inviting former and current politicians to speak their minds at Mercyhurst. I didn’t know Mercyhurst has become so engaged in politics.