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Be true to your school

Katie Palmitier | Sunday, September 9, 2007

Saturday night, about a half hour before kick off in Happy Valley, I was talking via AIM to several groggy Notre Dame study abroad students. At 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning in Fremantle, Australia, the whole group was getting ready for Game Day, Aussie style. Although they were only going to be able to listen to the game on the Internet, the Notre Dame Australia kids showed their true school spirit. Even after an unsuccessful home opener last weekend, fans from around the world joined together to support the Irish and give them another chance.After Saturday’s game, however, many Irish fans are upset – especially those who woke up at 5:30 a.m. to listen to the Irish lose. Complaints concerning the quarterbacks, the offensive line and the coaches are being echoed throughout campus, on Sports Center and at Alumni Club parties. The fate of the rest of the football season is in serious question.Although others may disagree, winning football games is not the most important attribute of Our Lady’s University. Academic excellence, enduring tradition, and the Catholic spirit all contribute to making Notre Dame one of the top 20 universities in the nation. The grotto, Touchdown Jesus, and the Golden Dome are just several of the many campus landmarks that make Notre Dame so unique. Debauched SYR’s, exhilarating Drummers’ Circles and world-renowned Bookstore Basketball are traditions that cannot be found anywhere else.So while the rest of the football season may look grim, there are many other things around campus to get excited about, or at least make the football season a little more bearable.u Campus Concerts: This fall the Notre Dame concert schedule is jam-packed. After hearing Ok Go and Lupe Fiasco last weekend, we still have the Format and John McLaughlin to look forward to this year.u More Flex Points: Notre Dame food services decided to boost our ability to dine outside of the dining halls. If you are anything like me, in past years the previous Flex Point stipend had me dining hall-bound starting mid-November. But with $310 Flex Points, students will take advantage of Subway, Reckers and the Huddle Mart all semester long.u Domer Dollars in the Stadium: To ease one’s pain of watching the Irish on the field, the Notre Dame Stadium now proudly accepts Domer Dollars. When you cannot bear watching Jimmy Clausen get sacked one more time, head on down to the concessions, where a delicious Stadium hot dog or some tantalizing nachos are sure to so ease your aching Irish heart, or at least help prevent you from a massive hangover Sunday morning.Campus Construction: Excitement and anticipation linger as we all anxiously await the completion of Duncan Hall and the new Law School building. The three-story male residence hall is sure to be a beautiful addition to West Quad, while the addition to the Law School is a great excuse for why you were five minutes late to class.We all wish we could have the perfect football season, the perfect grades, the perfect boyfriend. Yet, as I have learned the hard way, that is not always a reality. Thankfully, at Notre Dame those things are not necessary to have fun and enjoy college life. And with the tradition and spirit of Notre Dame, fans of the Fighting Irish will still come together to support their team. Tailgating will still go on (even more so now – continuing one, perhaps two hours into game time), Rocco’s will still have a two hour wait on Friday night … and the Notre Dame Australia students will still get up at the crack of dawn, huddle around a computer, and cheer on their beloved Irish while listening to them play. Regardless of the outcome of the 2007 football season, embrace all that Notre Dame has to offer, and, as the Beach Boys so eloquently put it, be true to your school.

Katie Palmitier is a junior political science major. She can be contacted at kpalmiti@nd.eduThe views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.