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Dorm rivalries taken too far

Patrick Corrigan | Tuesday, November 4, 2003

On the night before Halloween, students from Keenan Hall participate in a traditional community service event known as the Keenan Great Pumpkin. As a symbol of our pride and commitment to the event, the men of Keenan hang a huge wooden sign in the shape and color of a pumpkin that reads: “Coming soon, the Keenan Great Pumpkin.” During the Great Pumpkin, students from Keenan and other dorms take young children from the local Boys and Girls Club trick-or-treating at all of the participating dorms on campus. As an event where students volunteer their time to help local kids, this is surely an activity that I believe all students should support and embrace.

When I woke up for breakfast last Wednesday morning, I saw something that made me ashamed of some of my fellow Domers; when I looked up at the big, orange sign, I saw something that turned my pride in Keenan Hall into disappointment in Notre Dame: during the night, someone from a rival dorm of Keenan Hall defaced the Great Pumpkin sign. I have only one question for the perpetrators of this act: Why?

Why did you feel the need to mar a sign that supports a community service event to help eight-year-old kids? Even if you have a rivalry with the dorm hosting the service event, why would you ruin it for the children who wanted to have a fun night of trick-or-treating? Even for those people who have the attitude of “I would never have done it, but I think it’s hilarious that someone else did” – perhaps you are more a part of the problem than you realize, and you need to rethink your attitude. In any event, it is not my place to speculate or point a finger.

I was dismayed tonight when I heard the rector of Keenan Hall, Father Mark Thesing, announce a new rule regarding Christmas light decorations to help prevent vandalism. Christmas lights hanging on Zahm and Keenan Hall cannot hang less than eight feet from the ground, so that the lights cannot be cut by someone on the ground. The rule was created because both dorms’ lights displays were cut last year. This rule, based on the failure of Notre Dame students to respect each other, makes me disappointed in and ashamed of my fellow Notre Dame students. Even though one of Keenan’s signs has already been vandalized, I call on students from both dorms to respect each other’s Christmas light displays this year, show respect and class to all other dorms, and to overcome our rivalries and take pride as a single Notre Dame community.

Patrick CorriganfreshmanKeenan HallNov. 3