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Comic harmful to relationship

Letter to the Editor | Monday, April 10, 2006

As a Saint Mary’s alumna who had to make the choice between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, I was somewhat disheartened by the comic that appeared in today’s Observer (April 6). It seems that each time a step is taken forward in strengthening the relationship between two outstanding institutions, two steps backwards are taken when a few students make the choice to print something such as this comment attempting to damage that relationship that has been so vital to the existence of both campuses.

In calling Saint Mary’s a “parasite” to Notre Dame, it is important to view how that relationship works both ways. While it is true that Saint Mary’s students are able to attend football games, classes and even the dining hall at Notre Dame, it must be kept in mind that Notre Dame students are given equal opportunities. On many occasions I saw Notre Dame students in our dining hall during my four years at Saint Mary’s. Even more importantly, as an education major, I had several Notre Dame students in my classes, as this major does not even exist at Notre Dame. Without Saint Mary’s, these students would not have had many of the opportunities that they did.

In addition, the use of the term “parasite” implies a negative relationship in which one body is harming another. In posing the comic strip in the fashion the authors chose to do, they are saying that Saint Mary’s is in some way threatening to the Notre Dame community. If the ability to take advantage of multiple majors on both campuses and the ability to work together to promote common values is harmful, then perhaps the authors need to reevaluate what a positive relationship would be. I would hope that a group of adults could continue to promote what has been for so many years such a positive relationship in which both parties benefit rather than making an attempt to harm what could be such wonderful experiences and opportunities for students on both campuses, before the tension between the campuses mounts so high that this great history dies altogether.

Instead of trying to find the negative in situations, let’s look for the positives and what a wonderful opportunity it is to have two great campuses who have worked so well together for so long so that students of both campuses can continue to enjoy the experiences we as alumni have been so fortunate to enjoy, and continue to strengthen this relationship as we work to make each institution the best it can be.

Lauren RoedereralumnaSaint Mary’s CollegeClass of 2005April 8