In March 1963, Loyola University Chicago made nationwide headlines when its men’s basketball team, the Loyola Ramblers, beat the Cincinnati Bobcats 60-58 in the final round of the NCAA championship. Their victory marked a turning point in the history of college basketball and the civil rights movement. Never before had an integrated college team starting four Black players on a five-man squad gone on to win a national title.
When Loyola’s Presidential Search Committee announced Jo Ann Rooney was its pick back in the summer of 2016, her elevation marked the beginning of a new chapter in the university’s history. Of 23 presidents to come before her, Rooney would be the first woman and the first non-Jesuit to take the top job.
In the wake of George Floyd’s unnecessary death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers — and the continued demand for comprehensive and systemic change that ensued — Loyola sent a message to the community promising action. It’s created initiatives and pledged to increase diversity and racial education. But these steps alone aren’t enough to create the change necessary: it’s time to ditch Aramark.