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ND is not our mom

Jen Mulreany | Sunday, September 28, 2003

Our mission statement says, “As a Catholic University one of (our) distinctive goals is to provide a forum where through free inquiry and open discussion the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions and every other area of human scholarship and creativity.”One would think that an institution focused on advancing an adult population toward greater maturity imparted this statement. It almost makes me believe that Notre Dame is trying to teach Catholicism in an environment of wise freedom. But if your viewing of Coupling was pre-empted by WNDU’s self-righteousness then you were firmly escorted back to reality. By being one of only two affiliates in the country to ban the new primetime comedy, Notre Dame is once again showing its hypocritical disregard for student development. In theory, the administration loves open debate. Yet they don’t footnote that “free inquiry and open discussion” relate only to liturgical interpretation. When I enrolled at the University, I applied on the grounds that I would be able to progress from the maturity level I was at in high school. Instead I have devolved into someone who would shriek if they saw a man in a girls’ dorm after midnight on a Tuesday. Instead of focusing my attention on changing the world, I am writing about my right to watch televised, dysfunctional relationships. By airing Coupling, the University will not be doing the greater South Bend area a huge service. But by playing the role of an overprotective parent, this institution is doing all of us a great disservice. It is corroding free thought. We belong to one of the least politically active campuses in the country because we have been engendered with a belief that big change is an impossibility. As a student body, we cling to small rights (i.e. the right to throw marshmallows at football games) because past precedent has shown that Father Irish thinks us incapable of tackling the bigger issues. Over-parenting is one thing. When a school tackles this responsibility, it’s another.

Jen MulreanysophomoreBreen-Phillips HallSept. 28