OPINION: Girls in the Birdcage?

Nathanial George, Jay Journal Editor

“Out! Out! Out!”

Creighton Prep’s Birdcage has been quick to boot any female that steps within ten feet of the student section, for as long as we can remember. Or should I say, as long as us students can remember.

In the distant past, Prep students didn’t repel girls from the ‘Cage. At times, they actually welcomed them in.

“When I was a student here back in the Dark Ages, there was no separation,” Class of 1970 and history teacher Greg Glenn said. “[An all-male Birdcage] may discourage girls from coming to our games, and it certainly prevents guys from bringing dates to games.”

Several other living artifacts can confirm this too, although some see the benefits of a male-only student section.

“Some girls might have mixed in,” long-time English teacher Michael Witt said. “But it is meant to be a Prep ‘thing’ — hence all-male.”

The times have definitely changed. Not only are young women strictly prohibited from the student section, but they’re harshly disrespected if they even try to step foot in the Birdcage. And that’s simply not right.

While the benefits of an all-male student section include a strengthened community within our own walls, it excludes those of our sister schools. Isn’t the whole point of going to social events, such as football and basketball games, to hang out with friends — boys and girls?

No wonder there seems to be a dip in female attendance at Prep events. Why would you support a school that shuns you?

Marian junior Olivia Mathews believes that more girls would support Prep athletics if they were allowed in the Birdcage.

“It’d give us more of a reason to go,” Mathews said. “Marian, Mercy, and Duchesne girls are constantly complaining about it, although I like sitting with my girls too.”

And girls are starting to stand up for themselves. Many of them, specifically from Duchesne, spend their Friday nights at the other all-boys school: Mount Michael. Maybe it’s because Duchesne’s dance team performs at halftime (which is an entirely different problem for Prep) — but they also cherish a Knights student section that accepts them.

“It’s always packed with girls,” Duchesne senior Sophia Pflug said.

Most Prep students, meanwhile, are still against the possibility of doubling the Birdcage.

“Keeping girls out seems logical,” Prep senior Xavier Vaughn said. “It gets pretty rowdy in there.”

But let’s not forget that co-ed student sections can get crazy — just look at Millard West, Millard North, or even Marian.

“Marian’s student section is rowdy too, so we could adjust to the Birdcage,” Mathews said.

In a school drowning with tradition, we should revert back to our gentleman roots. Not only will a co-ed Birdcage make us happier and more social, but it will also spark an exponential boost in attendance at football and basketball games — something Prep desperately needs.