Gonzaga University has issued a plea to students ahead of the school’s basketball game against BYU.
The meeting between the two schools generally causes a lively atmosphere at McCarthey Athletic Center on Gonzaga’s campus. In recent years, students have come dressed in missionary costumes, which mock the Mormon faith.
Gonzaga is attempting to eliminate the sight of those costumes going forward. During a recent gathering of the university’s Kennel Club, a letter from president Claire Murphy was read. In it, she declares the costumes make her stomach “twist into knots.”
“The missionary costumes and posters that degrade the Mormon faith that show up in The Kennel every time we face the Cougars makes my stomach twist into knots,” Murphy’s letter read, according to The Gonzaga Bulletin. “We are a Jesuit institution that stands to ‘foster a mature commitment to dignity of the human person, social justice, diversity’ and ‘cultivates in its students the capacities and dispositions for ethical discernment, creativity, and innovation.’ How are we living up to this mission if we are tearing down the spiritual identity of others?”
The Bulletin added that on game day, members of Gonzaga’s administration will be in attendance and on the lookout for students dressed inappropriately.
After previously playing in the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference, BYU joined the West Coast Conference in 2011. With Gonzaga and BYU now in the same conference, Gonzaga has decided it is time to take steps to make sure the environment is respectful.