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Schools share classes, facilities

Megan O'Neil | Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students utilize a variety of resources on all three campuses, the result of a long tradition of cooperation that has evolved into a unique academic and social community rarely seen in other university environments.

One of the most widely used shared resources between the colleges is the curriculum. Through the Northern Indiana Consortium, university students are allowed to take classes at one of the other two institutions on a space-available basis.

The exchange permits students to access courses that may not be available on their immediate campuses. There are currently 88 Notre Dame and Holy Cross students enrolled in Saint Mary’s classes, and 159 Saint Mary’s students enrolled in Notre Dame classes.

Saint Mary’s sophomore Nicole Gifford, currently taking introductory engineering at Notre Dame, said all students should take advantage of the course exchange between schools.

“I think it is crucial for any university to offer as many courses as possible to its students,” Gifford said. “Look at our education program – we offered that and Notre Dame doesn’t, so their students can come here for it.”

The academic exchange goes beyond just the classroom setting, however; students are also permitted to access and check out library resources at all three institutions. Recent network improvements have linked the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross library catalogues, enabling students to perform a broader reference search.

“It’s the same system, but segmented,” said Saint Mary’s library director Janet Fore of the shared online system. “Each data base is separate.”

The multi-catalogue search available to the three student bodies accelerates the search process.

“Rather than go into a catalogue to search and then out again and then into another, you get all of the hits immediately,” Fore said. “You are simplifying the search.”

Co-planning and hosting of social events amongst the schools has also served to strengthen the bond between them. Student government representatives from each college sit in on board meetings at the other schools and report back to their respective officers. Boards often cooperate and bring students together for events such as The Show and the Keenan Revue.

The availability of athletic events is another positive aspect of the close links between Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross. With a student identification card from any of the three schools, students can attend or purchase tickets for any sporting event.

Students can also take advantage of the athletic facilities on the three campuses. While the need has diminished in recent years, as a result of development of their own fitness centers, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students still frequent Notre Dame’s Rockne Memorial facility to work out and swim.

“It is great to be able to go over to The Rock and play a game of pick-up basketball,” said Holy Cross sophomore Tom Gannon. “Interacting with Notre Dame students is always a good time. It’s part of what makes going to school here so awesome.”