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Zahm awaits outcome for incident at Keenan

Heather Van Hoegarden and Mary Kate Malone | Thursday, February 2, 2006

After a group of Zahm Hall residents threw fruit and vomited onto Keenan Hall Saturday evening, Zahm’s hall government and rector are in talks about the best way to punish those responsible for the incident.

Initially, Zahm rector Father Dan Parrish banned all dorm social gatherings indefinitely in an e-mail he sent to his residents immediately following the incident.

But at a closed hall government meeting Tuesday, Zahm residents and hall staff members agreed to “several concrete resolutions,” including a public apology as well as a personal apology to Keenan Hall rector Father Mark Thesing, Zahm Hall president Kevin Gimber said.

Parrish said he would come to a final decision on the consequences of the incident by the next hall government meeting.

“I believe that there was a unanimous opinion of all residents there that this action did step over the line, and that we agree that there should be consequences to our actions,” Gimber said.

Gimber said a group of about 50 Zahm residents went to South Dining Hall around 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon for a dorm dinner. After dinner, Gimber said, a group of about 10 Zahm residents ran to Keenan and vomited on the south side of the dorm and returned to their rooms after Keenan residents came out of their building.

Parrish immediately sent an e-mail to Zahm residents banning all social gatherings indefinitely, and a copy of that e-mail was obtained by The Observer. Parrish has not yet finalized the stated punishment.

The e-mail said “a group of Zahm men, wearing red shirts, threw fruit at Keenan Hall and vomited on and near Keenan’s southern wall. The majority of the fruit and vomit fell directly at or below the windows of Keenan’s rector, Father Mark [Thesing].”

The e-mail – which was sent by Parrish at about 7 p.m. Saturday – stated, “The mess outside of Keenan will be completely cleaned up before Father Mark [Thesing] returns from tonight’s basketball game.”

Gimber said the incident occurred before the 6 p.m. game at the Joyce Center was over.

“There were a group of residents that cleaned it up,” Gimber said Tuesday.

Gimber said the Tuesday hall government meeting was “calm and level-headed.”

“We have also agreed to look into purchasing an ad or [asking The Observer] to print a [Viewpoint] letter that we will draft as a community apologizing for actions that have upset the Notre Dame community,” Gimber said.

Thesing declined to comment Wednesday.