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Defending ‘Breytopia’

Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 10, 2008

During the recent presidential elections for Student Government, we all heard numerous campaign promises and pledges by the various candidates. I noticed a recurring theme: most of the candidates stressed that their most important goal was service to the student body. Bob Reish and Grant Schmidt, the winners in that hotly contested election, seemed to put particular stress on the idea that their actions would be directly tied to whatever issues were deemed especially important by the students.

Well, gentlemen, consider this your first request. Last Friday, the faithful members of “Breytopia,” the dedicated ranks of the Leprechaun Legion that camp out in advance for basketball games, were broken up and chased off by NDSP, threatened away by citations and ResLife. Many seniors were bullied out of camping for the last basketball game they will get the chance to see.

At a school that has developed such a strong home-court advantage (36 straight home wins speak for themselves), to have this entirely unnecessary and uncalled for display against school spirit and team support is simply outrageous. This is not the first time NDSP has chosen to break up one of these sleeping sessions, and I doubt that it will be the last unless quick and efficient action is taken.

Students camping out for basketball games is far from unprecedented at schools around the country, and even has a rich history at our own University.

The team’s performance over the past few years shows that Mike Brey is bringing the program back to the status it rightly deserves. However, when one looks at the truly elite basketball programs around the U.S. (North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, etc.), it is easy to see what these institutions have in common: an enthusiastic, energetic, and dedicated fanbase. To have Notre Dame’s own security force take actions to cut fan energy is entirely counterproductive to the rise of the program. Imagine Duke shutting down Krzyzewskiville! This type of action should not be tolerated by Father Jenkins, Father Poorman, and the rest of the administration, and especially not by our own Student Government.

If Bob and Grant really want to make their mark in the coming year, they should get started right now by opening discussion with NDSP and ResLife about arranging a safe haven for students that want nothing more than to camp out and watch our Fighting Irish take the hardwood. With almost all of this year’s squad returning, next year is bound to be an exciting year for Notre Dame basketball. It would be unfortunate if, during a year that could be so important for the program, the University allowed the negative actions of NDSP to continue.

In the words of one very distinguished (and awfully handsome) former presidential candidate: “The only thing that should be louder than these pants is the voice of the student body.” Well, Bob and Grant, I hope you are taking the time to listen: this is an issue that must be addressed.

Dan Rimkus


Zahm House

Feb. 24