Service instead of sun
Observer Editorial | Friday, March 5, 2004
When people think of Notre Dame pride, they remember Rudy, Knute Rockne and the Golden Dome.
But perhaps the biggest points of pride for the Fighting Irish should be the South Bend Center for the Homeless, the Logan Center or the University sponsored Summer Service Projects that send students around the nation and the world every year.
Right now midterms are ending, the weather is getting rainy and for most students nothing sounds better than sun, sand and a week away from schoolwork.
This is even more reason to commend more than 200 Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students who will spend the next week doing service in Appalachia, Washington D.C., Toronto and other locations through the spring break Social Concerns Seminars. These students will spend their break painting houses, picking tomatoes with immigrant workers, meeting leaders of the Civil Rights movement and learning about the need and opportunities for social service in many different parts of the nation.
College is a both a place to learn and to kick back and have fun. During the semester, it is easy to forget how many people never have the chance at a Notre Dame education or anything else that will help them get good jobs to support themselves or their families. But you don’t have to go far from Notre Dame to see that not everyone has the same advantages as many Notre Dame students.
As Catholic institution and an institution of higher learning, the University has made it a goal to instill a sense of social responsibility in its students. A week of service or even a three-month service project may not do much to change the face of poverty, but the experience can change the outlook of a student who will one day be in the position to make a difference. No one can blame students for wanting to spend a hard-earned break relaxing with their friends. But students taking part in Social Concerns Seminars deserve extra credit for their decision to do something a little more selfless with their spring breaks, as does the University for making these programs available.