Notre Dame off-campus crime
Emily Chappell | Friday, October 2, 2009
With local crime on the rise in South Bend, I am surprised and concerned with the lack of University effort to protect their students, especially seniors, by making a more concerted effort to keep them on campus.
The reason why upwards of 80 percent of the senior class want to move out of the dorms is no secret to anyone. Single-sex dorms and the parietal system are a part of the core mission of the University, which most students begrudge but accept. This does not change the fact that the majority of the student body feels they have outgrown the strict dorm rules by the time they are 21 and look forward to moving off campus. But must our safety be the price to pay to have our brothers spend the night on football weekends or a bottle of vodka legally in our possession?
Saint Mary’s College has fought this issue with their students by building Opus – a seniors only, fully furnished apartment building located right on campus. There are no RAs or rules enforced by the college, so it essentially has the perks of living off campus combined with the security of living on-campus. I encourage Notre Dame to follow suit.
Notre Dame students do not move off campus to marvel at the beauty of the South Bend community, they do it because they feel entitled to live a more independent lifestyle without the University rules. There is currently no option for Notre Dame students who want to live this independent lifestyle to also live on campus.
I do believe that Notre Dame strongly cares about the safety of their off-campus students and is very concerned about the rise in violence just a few blocks outside the gates. I only wish the University would take action and try to keep their seniors within the security of the Notre Dame campus. Instead of pursuing plans to build another new dorm, please consider the option of building a seniors-only residence like Saint Mary’s.