OPINION | Butler should embrace what unites us

So many things divide Butler University’s student body, whether it be graduation year, major, Greek affiliation—or lack thereof—political ideals, or even favorite color.

But on Friday, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event at the Health and Recreation Complex brought participants together in a way that I have not seen before on this campus.

Cancer doesn’t care what year people are, what Greek house they’re in, how much money they’re going to make after graduation or how many people love and care about them.

Cancer is a disease that is universal, and it has touched the lives of each Butler student, including those who have lost loved ones to the disease and those who have not.

I was truly moved by the togetherness as I walked around the track at the HRC and saw men and women of different affiliations and groups crying and consoling one another.

Relay for Life, or Dance Marathon earlier in the year and Butler sports, are events that we, the Butler community, can all rally behind.

We must use these moments to remind us that there is more that unites us than separates us.  We are all Bulldogs, Americans and humans.

The nearly $54,000 that Butler’s Relay for Life raised to fight cancer is an astonishing amount that should make everyone who participated in the event proud.

Two of the main speakers  turned the event from just another function where students could hang out into an emotionally charged affair.

Cancer survivors Heather Banks and Jim Wesp, father of Butler student Sarah Wesp, spoke at Relay for Life about their fights with the disease.

They talked about how their battles with the disease have made them stronger people, made them appreciate life more and taught them that there are things worth fighting tooth and nail for.

These ideas of community and togetherness are best described in the words of author J.K. Rowling. “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” Rowling wrote, “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

I believe that we have seen some great things happen to Butler.

We’ve seen streng and unity in our community from the back-to-back national title game runs by the men’s basketball team.

More recent events include Dance Marathon, Relay for Life and the Butler Palooza concert on the mall on Saturday.

It would be foolish to think that there will be a point when all in the Butler community can get along perfectly.

But I hope that, in the coming years, we as a community can work on respecting our differences and find ways to work together to improve our school and our society.

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