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Welcome Parents

Observer Editorial | Thursday, February 19, 2004

Junior parents, welcome to campus. For many of you, other than the start and end of your child’s career at Notre Dame and the occasional football weekend, this is the only time that you will spend time on campus that you pay over $30,000 a year for your child to attend.But lest you think this is just a normal weekend at Notre Dame, we want to clue you in to some of the preparations for your arrival. The seniors have been shipped off to Chicago and the underclassmen have gone to Windsor to avoid the wrath of rectors who have moved parietals two hours earlier. The University has dispatched front loaders to move piles of snow. The janitors have been hard at work to make sure that even the bathrooms don’t smell. And your sons and daughters have been hard at work, too. They have done their laundry for the first time in weeks and washed their sheets for the first time all year. The custody of alcohol – the forbidden hard variety and beer alike – has been appropriated to a friend who won’t have the watchful eye of parents in the room. The scantily-clad pictures have been removed from the walls. (Juniors who haven’t yet completed these tasks, please use this as a checklist so a disapproving scowl isn’t the first thing you get when you see your parents.)So welcome to this clean and sanitized Notre Dame. We are sure that you will enjoy it as much as we do in the 12 hours that it stays this way after you leave.But in all seriousness, this weekend is for you and your children. It is the only time that a weekend on campus does not involve separation anxiety, as it does for the parents at freshman orientation and for the students leaving Notre Dame at commencement. It is a wonderful opportunity to see what your child has been doing for the last three years and to make up for all of those phone calls that your child never made. We truly hope that all juniors and parents cherish this opportunity to meet friends, meet professors and also meet other parents. Once you get over the initial anxiety of parents and students spending an evening together, it will be a great weekend, the last until May 15, 2005 – and no one wants to think about that date just yet.