Dome worth fighting for
Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, March 31, 2005
Haggling for an extra commencement ticket is the only thing I thought I’d be negotiating with the administration for during my final days at this great school. Ironically, however, with massive support from classmates, I find myself enmeshed in talks of much greater significance. On March 24, the distinguished and genuine Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves wrote in The Observer: “Unfortunately, there is no way it [the Dome project] could be avoided.” I could not agree more.
However, the question is not whether the Dome should remain broken and unfixed. Rather, the question that fellow classmates have asked me is whether there is a way to restore the Dome for our posterity, yet still allow graduates a picture-perfect view of the most recognized university landmark in the world.
In a meeting with Affleck-Graves last Wednesday, Adam Istvan drafted a compromise that we believed would allow for the weather-contingent aspects of the dome project to be finished by the absolute Oct. 1 “frost-deadline” and still allow for the Dome to be unfettered graduation weekend.
The compromise allowed for continued work on the dome so as not to lose vital time in April that is needed to complete this time’s more extensive project. We hoped it would take away at most two or three weeks, which would place the entire project’s completion date right at the end of September.
Regrettably, Affleck-Graves called me March 24 to say the arrangement would actually add an extra four weeks to the project; thus the last scaffold would not come down until mid-October – two weeks too late.
If I was a multi-millionaire, I’d give several hundred thousand dollars to Conrad Schmitt Studios to hire more workers and tools to be able to make the compromise arrangement work. Alas, I am not rich – I am just one student with a lot of loans. Nonetheless, when people accuse me of wasting my time, I emphatically disagree. For when it comes my turn to switch the tassel, I’d much rather know that every stone was flipped in an effort to work positively with my fellow classmates for the common good of our graduation and for the University of Our Lady.
After all, each of us has that special loved one who can’t wait to see Notre Dame. Thus I will continue working with fellow seniors, student government folks and the administration to make the best of this situation. Nonetheless, I just wish that 12th person who has been there all of the way can experience that same awesome sight that we have had during these past four years – shining in the heavens, gleaming gold and blue.
senior class president