BY JORDAN OTERO
Respect for the human person and his dignity is a central part of Catholic life and, therefore, a central part of life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. It is this focal point that colors Franciscan University differently than its comparable institutions.
It’s no secret that our school is an “academically challenging, passionately Catholic” institution. At a school that prides itself on churning out devout believers who will go forth into the world to preach the gospel at all times, using words if necessary, the fact that a website dedicated to nothing less than the objectification of the human person was developed by a student on campus seems shocking. The concept of RateMyFranny.com was nothing new and not unlike what many of us have seen – two photos are randomly selected, juxtaposed on either side of a browser window and the person viewing the images must select which they find more appealing. However, on RateMyFranny.com, images shown are Franciscan students; votes are given to who is “hotter,” and then arranged into a hierarchical list of who has been voted most attractive.
RateMyFranny.com has since been shut down by Student Life and the Twitter account associated with it has been removed. Prior to its removal, the Twitter account claimed another site would be launched in the near future. Perhaps it was developed as a joke. If so, no doubt we’ll all have a good laugh about it sometime in the future.
Nevertheless, we have a responsibility as college students to embrace impending adulthood and the obligations that come along with it. Likewise, as Christians we have a duty to make steps toward advancing God’s kingdom. This begins by upholding basic teachings, particularly human dignity. If this doesn’t happen at Franciscan University, which has been hailed as one of the most Catholic universities in the world, where will it happen?