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Zahm apologizes for disrespectful behavior

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, February 6, 2006

To Our Notre Dame Family,

We are ND. We chant it over and over again at everything from football pep rallies to late night celebrations. We wear it proudly on class shirts and we sign our class e-mails with it. Simply put, this phrase encompasses everything about who we are and what we stand for – our faith, our solidarity, our spirit – our commitment to the values and image of Our Lady’s University.

You see us all around campus making noise and wearing red. We are Zahm Hall – or “House” as some of us like to call it. And despite our love and commitment to and as a part of the Notre Dame Family, we have taken it upon ourselves to call attention to a group that dissents from that family. It’s time to set the record straight.

We are an extremely proud dorm. We are proud of our history, our beautiful home, our sports teams, our spirit, our commitment to works of charity and our involvement in community programs. The look on someone’s face when they learn we’re from Zahm, or the stares we get at pep rallies and sporting events are proof that, love us or hate us, we’re completely different from any other dorm on campus in a very special way.

Recently, some of the men of Zahm have come to realize that all of these things that we’re proud of don’t matter at all in light of what our reputation has become. It doesn’t matter how many activities we participate in or how well we do in competitions. What matters is our biggest cause for pride, our reputation, has slowly digressed into a cause for other dorms to hate us and ridicule us and for this wonderful University to look down on us and discipline us. While the damage has come at the hands of the minority of our residents, we recognize that the majority of the dorm has done little to stop it. As a dorm we have talked about ways to re-establish the position we earned as one of the best dorms at Notre Dame, and it begins with an apology.

Here and now, we the men of Zahm Hall, as students at the University of Notre Dame and members of the Notre Dame Family, want to express our deepest apologies for our continued disrespectful behavior. We’re sorry for giving you all the reasons you need to hate Zahm. We truly value your respect and friendship, but also realize they must be earned. From this point on, we will do just that.

We’ve decided as a dorm to move forward in a positive way. We’ll still be the craziest dorm on campus. We’ll still put 110 percent into every event that we’re involved in. Essentially, we’ll still do everything that makes us Zahm Hall. The only thing that will change is our disrespect for the amazing opportunities that Notre Dame has given us and others who are lucky enough to call themselves Domers. As we move forward in becoming who we should be as a dorm community, we ask that you support us in our mission to rejoin the Notre Dame Family in every aspect.

Here at Notre Dame, we are among the best students from around the world. We have so much pride in who we are, what we stand for, and what we accomplish. Zahm Hall is just one small part of what makes Notre Dame great, and we are committed to strengthening our relationship with the Notre Dame Family from this day forward. So when you hear us yelling “We are Zahm Hall,” know that deep inside all of our hearts that phrase echoes with “We are ND,” and we hope that it echoes in yours as well.

Yours in Notre Dame,The Men of Zahm HallFeb. 5