“Kaulaw niya uy. Very un-Atenean.”
Recent ADDU culture, at least on how I see it, has far detached itself from the philosophy of its priests. Some students throw around words such as “magis” or “social justice” like buzzwords, eliciting a cheap chuckle or a free ticket out of an NSTP class sharing. And while the average Atenean knows these from years of dedicated formation courses, some find these values too ideal in the postmodern time. This is why the tag “Un-Atenean” has been flung around excessively.
While some really take Ignatian values to heart, it would appear to others that practicing these is a privilege. Being an Atenean has far exceeded being a simple label, which isn’t necessarily bad. However, you can apparently call someone out for failing to act appropriately according to set standards. You can look down on people who sadly disgrace the long line of Jesuits who worked hard to deliver the education they receive. Are all Ateneans required to become “Ateneans”?
Moreover, there would appear to be an inherent contradiction between academic freedom and the Catholic university. While it is in the best interests of the university to form, there must be some leeway so that the influence is non-coercive.
The student should have the right to question and express insight; it would not be too shocking if someone does not believe in AdDU’s values at all. He has been given faculties to think and decide for his own. But of course the Catholic university has to maintain a sense of integrity to its faith and mission. In practical cases, academic freedom and the Catholic university meet halfway.
Still, what is “Un-Atenean” even supposed to mean? Should I be ashamed that I failed to meet some standard (that if I truly believed in in the first place, I would have followed)? Or should I be jealous that some other people have achieved the Jesuit nirvana (and that I should work harder to become the same)?
The problem is that instead of promoting a culture of mutual growth and learning, some get on the moral high horse. They say that “Hey, at least I’m a real Atenean!” and, mostly, this is not even the case.
The burden is not on the school to double-time its formation classes, but it is on the university population to understand these values and engage with each other. These values must not be desiccated and foreign. We must see these values at work and prove to each other that these are the right way to go.
Instead, we jeer and condemn; the avenue for growth has disappeared.
If you are the perfect embodiment of “magis” and “social justice”, kudos to you. Hopefully you can help other people reach the same.