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Fall study abroad students get short end of stick

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One of the things which attracted me to Notre Dame was the system in which students typically live in the same residence hall for their duration at the University. As a resident of Cavanaugh Hall for the past two years, I cannot speak enough about how much I love my dorm. Mindful of the cramped living quarters of freshman year, I was looking forward to my junior status and the perks which come with it, including having a higher lottery number in the room picks. However, my decision to go abroad fall semester has not only deprived me of receiving a lottery number, but in essence is actually forcing me out of my beloved dorm.

The current practice allows for students studying abroad in the spring semester to receive a lottery number and go about making living arrangements in the typical manner. They are then given the privilege of sub-letting their room to a friend or some other type of benefactor for the spring semester. While this practice may have generally worked when more girls studied abroad in the spring, this year, 15 students are going abroad in the fall from Cavanaugh but only 13 are going in the spring, leaving a deficit of two beds. Instead of instructing two of the 17 transfers into the dorm that their spaces may only be good for a semester (until two junior Cavanaugh girls return from abroad), the beds will be taken away from two of its own residents, who are left to scramble to find other options or to hope that “something else opens up in the dorm.” Bottom line: This is way below what I’ve come to expect from Notre Dame.

I recognize that this problem does not fall squarely on Cavanaugh’s shoulders, nor does its resolution. Until the Office of International Studies and the Office of Residence Life and Housing find a better solution, the only lesson that can be garnered is to study abroad in the spring, because then at least you’ll know where you’ll be sleeping during your semester on campus.

Elizabeth Purgert

Cavanaugh Hall


April 10