Where is the Sense of Community?
LDS dominant Utah has but three Catholic high schools in the whole state; small St. Joseph's up north, new Juan Diego out south, and (my school) old Judge Memorial. Juan Diego and Judge each take part in an often bitter rivalry between the two schools that developed from a sporting feud in 1999, the year of Juan Diego's founding. As a non-athletic man, I found no place for myself in the rivalry but I was curious about the political, social, and spiritual cultures among the three schools. Several friends and I decided this would make an interesting piece for the Judge school newspaper, "The Bulldog Press," and Judge's video segment, "JMTV", so we began to formulate a common survey to be distributed at each school. We chose Juan Diego as the first research site, and we patiently jumped through the appropriate administrational hoops until we had received enough permission to bring video equipment down during the school day. They did, however, want us to wait for further approval to distribute the survey.
As we were making the 40 minute drive to Juan Diego, I received a call from my main contact at the school with disappointing news; the survey had just landed on the vice principal's desk and he did not want our crew in his school. I quickly explained our situation and told her that, if for nothing else, we would come in only to plead our case. She reluctantly agreed and we eventually found our way to Juan Diego and into the vice principal's office. He discussed his hesitation and explained that it was based in the rivalry between the two schools. He was, in good conscience, very afraid of furthering the rift that had come between Judge and Juan Diego. We explained this was not our intention in the least but he refused to allow interviews until he had more time to review the survey and discuss it with the principal. We knew further arguments would be pointless so we resigned to accept our fate for the day.