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Irish spirit strong among graduate students

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, November 7, 2006

I was disappointed and offended to learn the view that undergraduates seem to have of graduate students at Notre Dame. The following statement could not be more unfounded: “The sense of identity that undergraduates derive from their place at the university is for the most part absent in graduate students who have stronger ties to their own colleges.”

I attended a public undergraduate university and dreamt of one day being able to have the college experience I had missed. I sacrificed to make that happen, cried the day I found out I got into Notre Dame and have taken on almost $100,000 worth of loans to see my dream through. I pray at the grotto, attend mass in the basilica, and lived on campus last year. I purchased Father Hesburgh’s book and got him to sign it for me. I have the “Here Come the Irish” video linked to my e-mail signature, and my eyes get watery every time I hear the Alma Mater. I played on the MBA Late-night Olympics team, which won last year, and I took photos on the sidelines as my classmates won the flag football championship in the stadium last year (many of them claimed it was the greatest moment of their lives). I am one of the MBA students who took an RV to the Georgia Tech game, rented a bus to attend the MSU game and woke up at 3 a.m. to watch the UCLA game online from a hotel room in China.

I am not concerned with our right to purchase tickets to away games – as you can see, I’ve gone through the trouble of finding tickets on my own. My point is that I am just as Irish as anyone and no one can ever take that away from me. No one has a right to define what someone else’s experience at Notre Dame is (or isn’t). Like most undergrads, I love Notre Dame with all my heart, am proud to be a student here, have made some of the greatest friends in the world here, will always cheer for the Irish and give back to this community that has given me some of the best memories of my life.

Most of the people I spend time with are MBA students and they have as much school spirit as anyone. They are outstanding people who possess the types of values that should characterize all Notre Dame students. We might not be fortunate enough to experience everything that Notre Dame offers its undergrads during their four years here, but we go out of our way to take in as much of Notre Dame as possible. And if you ask me, we appreciate it even more because of what we have sacrificed to be here and because we appreciate how great we have it here versus at other schools.

I hope the letters we have sent will change the perspective that undergrads have of us. However, even if they don’t, no one can take from us the right to call ourselves Irish or the wonderful experience we are getting as Notre Dame students.

Carolyn Torres

grad student

off campus

Nov. 6