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A product of the system

Letter to the Editor | Friday, November 21, 2008

Stop talking about Melissa (“The hook-up culture,” Nov. 19), stop talking about Will (“Dear Jane(s),” Nov. 20). The supposed hook-up culture at Notre Dame is not created by men, nor fueled by women, but instead a product of the system we call the University of Notre Dame. Since it is the reverends and alumni that run the school we love so much, the buck stops at every one of their desks. It is on them to change the problems that are popping up at this University.

Tradition is a wonderful thing, and helps Notre Dame boast at how storied it is; but there does come a time where you can be too steeped in tradition; and that time is now. I sit here three months into the school year and have no problem telling you that I still have not one legitimate girl friend like I did back home, and I know I’m not the only one.

And this is not because I am the kid that sits in the corner of the classroom hoping his Jedi mind tricks will actually lift the pencil in the air for once. If you know me you know I’m not exactly a shy person. So what exactly are parietals and single-sex dorms doing? They’re stopping exactly what we’re longing for.

Parietals are not stopping sex from happening, and are not making people do homework that they otherwise would not get done. Instead, they are preventing the casual movie watches, hang-outs, and friend-to-friend interaction that is absolutely necessary in a teenager’s life.

In order to fix the gender relations at Notre Dame, we need to do something about the single-sex dorms. Like almost every other school out there (including other religious universities), our dorms should be single-sex by floor. This would fix a number of problems. Not only would it be extremely easy to meet girls by bumping into them but it would make it a thousand times more convenient to, God forbid, hang out. We have so much schoolwork here that we only get miniscule breaks in-between homework. But even then, our breaks are spent playing video games or joking around with a same-sex friend down the hall.

Instead, a new dorm system would allow me to walk down one flight of stairs to actually talk to a girl. While this is an enormous change from the system we have now, we can dull it down by starting with a choice. For example, over the summer the school could ask which housing you want, single-sex or multi-sex; and depending on the results, some dorms would become multi-sex and some stay single-sex. Students would still stay in the same dorms for all four years to keep the amazing comradery we have now, except this would now include girls as well.

The truth is, something needs to be done. But using the Letter to the Editor section in the Observer as an advertisement of how you’re fun and up-for-anything is not productive at all. While ideas may seem radical to some, I’m sure the decision to admit women in the first place did too.

P.S. – I lied earlier. I do in fact sometimes find myself wishing that the Jedi mind trick would work for me.

Marko Pesce


Keenan Hall

Nov. 20