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Co-ex’s more than just food

Emily Schmitt | Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Saint Mary’s community received an extremely unpleasant shock at the beginning of this semester when they learned that co-ex meal exchange tickets are no longer available to the entire student body. We are all aware that this change must be due to the financial troubles that the College is experiencing, and that is understandable.

What is not understandable is how the student body is being treated in the aftermath of what the college must have known would be an incredible disappointment. The loss of co-ex feels very much like one more step away from the Notre Dame community we all love. Yes, Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College are all separate institutions in their own right with different things to offer, but we are, or at least we are supposed to be, one student body.

When I visited Saint Mary’s as a senior in high school, I was told by everyone in charge of recruiting for the school that I would be a part of the Notre Dame academic, extra-curricular and social life. I was told I would get “the best of both worlds.” So imagine my shock, dismay and embarrassment when last night at the co-ex forum I brought up this issue and was told flat out, “No. We made no such promise.” The representative went on to claim that the students’ social activities are no concern of the College. Co-ex’s are only given to students with “legitimate” excuses such as clubs, sports or band.

The Saint Mary’s administration needs to understand that the social connection with Notre Dame is a major attraction to students. I love Saint Mary’s and would never wish to transfer to Notre Dame, but feeling included in the social life of Notre Dame is one of the things that makes Saint Mary’s special. These Holy Cross institutions have shared roots that date all the way back to Father Sorin, who intended them to be a community together. It’s not just trivial. It’s not just a co-ex: We’re putting our status as part of this community at risk.

Emily Schmitt

junior

LeMans Hall

Sept. 8