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Positive sibling relationship should be fostered

Simon Joseph, Nathan Menendez, Tim Politano, Chris Tracy, Mike Albrecht | Monday, February 19, 2007

Over the past week, we have heard a great many responses from Saint Mary’s women in regard to Jonathan Klingler’s article “Saint Mary’s – we need to talk” (Feb. 13). We believe that the voices of Notre Dame students, however, have been surprisingly mute. On this point, we would like to offer our own humble opinion. In Klingler’s article, he refers to the historical relationship between Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross as “… one of mutual benefit, respect and affection.” In Klingler’s opinion, this historical relationship has changed to a parasitical relationship in which Saint Mary’s, although claiming to be separate and proud, has taken most of the benefits of our relationship.

Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross were founded as a family of schools run by the priests, sisters and brothers of the CSC, respectively. Indeed, the status of these schools as three related, but distinctly separate, entities follows the original vision of Congregation of Holy Cross founder Father Basil Moreau. When he founded the CSC, he believed it best to always have priests, sisters and brothers neighboring each other and working cooperatively, but living in separate communities. In this way, we are all a family.

Yes, siblings bicker. Whether it be for the last bit of pie or a fight for who gets the car, this is inherent in the nature of siblings. If you have older siblings, you know that while you look up to them, the most annoying thing they can do is demand that you be like them. This is true also of our schools. We bicker over football tickets and relationship status. Notre Dame is the big older brother and as such should help its younger siblings grow along their own path. We are three independent and proud schools, but we each have something to learn from each other.

We feel that class sharing, ticket sharing and event sharing can only help our three schools grow stronger. It is possible that through our communion with each other we can grow into three of the finest schools in the world. We do not feel that Saint Mary’s students are “taking our seats;” rather, they are beside us cheering on our student athletes as we should do for theirs. We do not feel that Saint Mary’s students are stealing the benefits of a Notre Dame education; rather, they are using the opportunities that they have available to become better people, as we should do with ours.

Finally, we do not feel that Saint Mary’s is hypocritical for calling itself “Separate and Proud;” rather, they are growing up as all families have, together and individually with their siblings. As a family of colleges, we should be encouraging growth and communication amongst ourselves so that we can all broaden our perspectives and grow to be more worldly people. We challenge those who haven’t had the chance yet to go out and explore Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross, be it through classes, performance opportunities or just by making a new friend. For our part, we wouldn’t have met many of our wonderful friends if it hadn’t been for the close relationship that Notre Dame shares with Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s.

Finally, and on a slightly separate note, we find the written and verbal attacks on the women of our family disgusting. The ‘inferiority’ of a women’s college, the ‘easiness’ of either college’s women and the reference to the ugliness of the women angers us. Women of our colleges are not gremlins, they are not inferiors and they are not to be stereotyped. While all of us can take a joke, the constant harassment of the female community has gone too far. It is in this vein that we ask all of you to please respect those of differing race, religion and especially gender in the future.

Simon Joseph, Nathan Menendez,

Tim Politano, Chris Tracy, Mike Albrecht

undergraduates

Notre Dame

Feb. 18