It’s been 223 days since the Rev. Scott Pilarz was inaugurated as Marquette’s 23rd President. He said it felt strange to be a freshman at 52 years old, but he vowed to be connected to the students and, overall, we think he’s done a pretty good job. But there’s always room for improvement.
Father Pilarz has become a very familiar face on campus. Some students have Pilarz as a professor; others have him as a neighbor in Campus Town East. He hosts student dinners and makes appearances at a variety of events. He has even made some of Marquette’s notorious red tape transparent by inviting students to meetings and allowing them to sit on some committees. He truly is the students’ president, and we respect him greatly for that.
Under the new Pilarz administration, there is a clear effort to spark discussion about sexual health and sexual assault awareness and prevention. We urge him to continue this in future years. We expected a stronger focus on sexual assault after last year’s incidents, but we hope he doesn’t back off this topic next year just because Marquette has already “been there, done that.”
Pilarz hired a few new people this year, including Athletic Director Larry Williams and Executive Vice President Mary DiStanislao. These positions were filled by people with excellent qualifications and experience, so kudos on that one. Speaking of hiring new people, are we ever going to get a Dean of Arts & Sciences? The majority of the Tribune’s Editorial Board will be graduating without ever having one, which is simply unacceptable.
However, finally hiring a Dean of Arts & Sciences isn’t our only suggestion for you, Fr. Pilarz. We’re not trying to complain, but please hear us out.
Make an official statement about McCormick. Everyone is talking about it and we can see it tilting — literally. It may be known as the “beer can” now, but it will be called the Leaning Tower of Marquette before you know it. We know it takes money and time when dealing with something like this, but we want to know what you have planned. Many alumni spent time in McCormick during their years here, and we’re sure they would contribute to the problem’s solution. Whether it’s tearing it down and building a new dorm or letting it deteriorate for a few more years, please let us know what’s going on.
Did you read Tuesday’s editorial about Sensenbrenner Hall? If not, please do. Our clubs and organizations need more space, our students need more diversity and related resources and that building is just way too cool to be sitting vacant. Since we’re on the topics of buildings, when will the Gender Resource Center be open? We know you’re in the process of finding a director for the center, but the plans for this center have been floating around for years — we expect to see continued, concrete action.
One more thing: Please stop talking about football. We know we will never get a football team again, just like we will never change our mascot back to the Warriors. We accept that (reluctantly).
During Pilarz’s inauguration, students recited Mary Oliver’s poem, “What I Have Learned So Far.” But our question is, what have you learned, Father Pilarz?
Like most freshmen, Pilarz made a few mistakes during his first year at Marquette, but we hope he’s learned from them. We know we were excited to no longer be freshmen, so here’s to looking toward your sophomore year, Father Pilarz.