Decoding Strake Jesuit
Boasting a rich religious history and unique academic identity, Strake Jesuit isn’t a place that’s always simple for an outsider to fully understand. Seldom does a day in my life pass without hearing at least someone speaking Latin or seeing community members communicate using old religious prayers or adages, and though I personally love that aspect of my school, it’s one that takes a while to adjust to.
So, in an attempt to make the school’s unique culture somewhat more understandable and accessible for those who don’t spend the bulk of their time on campus, I’ve compiled a short encyclopedia of some of Strake Jesuit’s most common expressions.
- Jesuit: A Jesuit is a member of the Society of Jesus, a religious order that adheres to the Catholic faith. The order was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish knight, in 1540. Jesuits are generally well-educated men; in fact, one must have earned a college degree before he can become a part of the order. Even after jumping the academic hurdle, however, an aspiring Jesuit will likely spend well over a decade in preparation for his Final Vows.
- PH: The acronym “PH” is sure to strike fear into the hearts of any Strake Jesuit student. A PH, short for “penance hall,” is Strake’s version of a detention. Relatively minor offenses will result in a lunch PH, which consists of sitting in a quiet room for 40 minutes during lunch, but more serious or repeated issues will earn you a dreaded Saturday penance hall. As I’ve (thankfully) never ended up with one of the latter, I can’t speak from experience, but just the thought of something that requires sacrificing beauty sleep to come to school on a Saturday morning is enough to keep me on my best behavior.
- AMDG: AMDG is an acronym for Ad maiorem Dei gloriam, a Latin phrase meaning “for the greater glory of God.” It is the motto of the Society of Jesus and is featured on art and inscriptions throughout campus, in addition to serving as a maxim for many of the school’s religious organizations and clubs.
- SJET: SJET stands for “Strake Jesuit Educational Television,” our morning news show. In general, the show features birthdays, club and sports announcements, and whichever memes the administration lets slip through the cracks. Beyond the show, though, SJET is one of the largest clubs on campus and provides valuable film and graphic design experience to its members.
- Grad at Grad: Rather than simply providing an opportunity for its students to earn high school diplomas, Strake Jesuit seeks to instill a series of admirable attributes within them. These qualities, open to growth, intellectually competent, physically fit, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice are meant to better prepare students for meaningful and respectable roles in society.
- Man for Others: In essence, this is what we all strive to be. Above all else, Strake Jesuit pursues an environment completely devoid of arrogance or narcissism, instead promoting a culture of humility and mutual respect.
In all honesty, I could sit here all day explaining the ins and outs of Strake’s occasionally cryptic jargon, but these examples should provide a decent enough crash course for surviving a day on campus. Strake Jesuit distinguishes itself as a unique (and occasionally confusing) community, but it’s one worth exploring.
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