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Not on my campus

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, March 26, 2009

I feel like it was only a few weeks ago that I was sitting in LaFortune writing thank you letters to alumni for their generous donations. While their donations have been very helpful I’ve now resigned myself to the fact that the only good to come out of the experience was the free shirt and pizza I was bribed with to participate.

Upon reading the Viewpoint section in Monday’s Observer I found myself actually longing for the typical “I don’t care if it’s Lent I want meat in the dining hall on Friday” editorials. Instead I found myself staring at pages – yes multiple pages – condemning Notre Dame’s recent selection of President Obama as our 2009 Commencement speaker.

I’m not completely upset with this criticism. I love that we’re actually using our paper to promote a dialogue on something other than the wave at home football games. What upsets me are the threats that some alumni are insinuating. Mr. Kevin Keane, class of 1988 (“Obama choice unacceptable,” March 23), I dare you to try and protest my graduation. Strike that, I triple dog dare you. I just don’t see it happening. Do you really want to ruin “the happiest day of my life,” or the happiest day of my 2000 fellow classmates by showing us pictures of dead babies? Really? Do you? Not even that, I’d like to see you try.

I issue this to all alumni – you probably remember a little book called “duLac.” It basically says what you can and cannot do on the Notre Dame Campus. If I may direct you specifically to page 145 of our most recent edition, the Office of Residence Life and Housing has been kind enough to include a little section on campus demonstrations. The section begins stating, “All demonstrations must be registered in writing with the Associate Vice President for Residence Life.” I bet you’ve already looked into that you seem like a very well informed gentleman. But wait there’s more! All demonstrations “also must observe the following rules: A. All demonstrations must be peaceful and orderly. B. Only members of the University community may organize or lead a demonstration on campus. C. Demonstrators may not impede the freedom of the University community.” So there it is, laid out to us by good ol’ “duLac,” a document I’ve come to know quite well in my four years here.

Mr Keane as well as any other alumni who might be outraged at who’s speaking at my graduation, I’m sorry for you. But please if you do wish to ruin what will be “The happiest day of my life” with your shouts of hate and graphic displays, keep it off my campus, because here at Notre Dame we play by the rules.

Matthew Degnan

senior

Sorin College

March 24