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Comic hurts community

Letter to the Editor | Monday, April 10, 2006

I am writing this letter as both an alum (Notre Dame ’95) and parent of a Saint Mary’s student. In the April 6 edition of The Observer, the “Jockular” comic strip refers to Saint Mary’s and its student population in general as “parasites.” I question The Observer’s editorial board policy and overall judgment in allowing the comic strip to run concurrent with the issuance of University President Father John Jenkins’ highly publicized effort to create a new vision for Notre Dame in the future – a vision that attempts to promote a campus-wide sense of reaching out to others with the hopeful exchange of opinions, ideas and overall life experiences. Perhaps the authors do not share the same vision as Jenkins and favor a culture that excludes members from the community, or the authors simply do not know the first rule of comedy: to know one’s audience. To allow the comic strip to run and blatantly insult Saint Mary’s contribution to what we know and love as “the Notre Dame Experience” is an even greater insult.

Since the inception of Sorin College, Saint Mary’s College and its student population have been a contributor to the sense of community in this experience. I would encourage The Observer’s editorial staff, and the comic strip’s authors in particular, to review their actions in light of Jenkins’ efforts to make a great University even greater and hope that they would then extend an apology to everyone affiliated with Saint Mary’s and the student population in particular.

Michael McKevittalumnusClass of 1995April 8