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Zombie Lookout: Campus Strongholds

Observer Scene | Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For many older Americans, fascination with the undead began in 1968 with George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”, however for me it started with Zach Snyder’s updated “Dawn of the Dead” in 2004.  This violent and darkly hilarious social commentary induced hours of intense and misspent musings on how best to fortify my high school from what I convinced myself was an inevitable zombie attack.  In light of Scene’s tasteful spread on vampires and zombies, take a bite out of the Top 3 (and One Worst) On-campus Fortifications for Zombie Defense at Notre Dame: 

3. The Hesburgh Library.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to address an impending zombie crisis, one cannot help but declare Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library a good place to make a stand for freedom. Yet while Club H looks ominous from the outside and provides plenty of Western literature to browse mid-escape on the inside, do not forget that almost the entire first floor is encased in glass windows. 

The library becomes your best option only if you are assured of an airlift escape shortly after your arrival.  Too much lingering in the house that Ted built will surely prove disastrous.  Prepare to build a signal fire replete with medieval poetry and existentialist novels as soon as possible.

2. Hammes-Mowbray Hall.

The building that houses NDSP will afford keys to virtually indestructible cruisers, fistfuls of cash from unnecessarily-issued parking tickets, and almost as many shelves of ammunition as we saw in “The Matrix.”  This too does not lend itself to a prolonged defensive strategy, but the appeal of Hammes-Mowbray lies in the access it provides to getting off campus easily.  Remember that your odds of outside rescue are not likely, thus it will become necessary to rely on common sense and a cache of weapons to make your escape.  Just be sure to not enter the Post Office side on a Sunday or Federal Holiday. 

1. South Dining Hall.

South far surpasses any alternatives for several reasons. First, there are no easily accessible windows on ground level and the building is reinforced with brick siding.  Essentially South Dining Hall was built as a zombie-stumping fortress. 

Second and most obviously, a priceless buffet of food choices make SDH ideal for a long defense.  Sustenance, hydration, and rest are all invaluable intangibles when making a stand against the undead, and because the biggest question is always whether to wait for a rescue or attempt an escape, hiding in Notre Dame’s mega-kitchen remains ideal. Finally, if rescue does come, the flat roofs of South’s great dining rooms allow easy helicopter access for the military.  

The Worst Place to be On Campus:

Stepan Center. Before and after any zombie attack, really. 

Colin Rich may be reached at crich@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.