Mission Week Focuses on Social Justice


Colin Donovan

Students battle in a Shinny Hockey game . The tournament helped raise money for Amigos for Christ in Belize and St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in the Ville.

Stephen Baxendale, Editor-in-Chief

To raise money for multiple charities, the De Smet student government hosted the annual Mission Week from Feb. 16-19.

This year, Stugo emphasized the theme of justice rather than attempting to reach a set financial goal.

“As a Stugo, we all sort of agreed that we were going to focus a little less on a monetary goal,” Stugo officer Grant Kraemer said. “We were going to focus more on changing the way we look at Mission Week or changing the way Mission Week plays out.  Make it more for a purpose.  Basically, we sort of had the idea to change the way people view doing the service. Less as ‘Hey I’m going to have a fun week; I’m going to spend some money.’ We are actually trying to convey the purpose of helping people and why that’s important.”

Mission Week supported two different charities: Amigos for Christ, a nonprofit organization working with the Jesuit Missions in Belize and St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in the Ville.

“We definitely focused on the charities that we focused on in the past,” Kraemer said. “De Smet’s really been close with St. Matthew’s parish in the Ville neighborhood, so it was clear choice to continue helping there.”

New this year, Mission Week t-shirts were purchased from Alta Gracia Fair Trade Apparel, a company located in the Dominican Republic, focused on respecting the rights of workers with pay three times the national minimum wage.

“The shirts were a new way we decided to serve that was more helpful to the people who made them,” Kraemer said. “We didn’t want Mission Week shirts to be funding a company that wasn’t working for justice.”

Ultimately, Kraemer hopes that Mission Week could be a starter to begin a conversation about social justice at De Smet.

“It’s a great leadoff point for people to one, have a good time, and two, learn a little bit about service,” Kraemer said. “It’s also a good time to look back and reflect on our own lives and see where we can be doing more.”