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Now & Then: du Lac & Drinking

Marissa Frobes | Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Paranoia is pervading students who typically party off campus on the weekends, as it should in light of the recent issues with police here in the lovely city of South Bend.

Some off-campus students are just tweaking their weekend habits: actually verifying that everyone is of age in their parties and posting signs like “Only over-21 allowed.” But for those of us who are still stuck on campus are having a hard time coping, do we close our eyes, get in a cab at Main Circle and hope for the best? Do we play board games in the 24-hour lounge? Or do we throw dorm parties under the watchful eyes of our rectors and rectresses?

If you plan on taking any risks on or off campus, make sure you are aware of what kind of restrictions your guide to student life at Notre Dame, the beloved “du Lac,” lays out for you. And for fun, see how it compares to student life in the 1970s.

“du Lac” 2010 says:

“Any person under 21 years of age is underage in the state of Indiana. All students are expected to comply with Indiana law at all times. Students may be subject to disciplinary action for underage consumption, possession or transportation of alcoholic beverages.” (104)

“The Dome” (1977) says:

“The 21 drinking age in Indiana was a barrier to some people, but it didn’t stop most of us. We just begged IDs off of our 21-year-old friends who looked a little like us, and prepared for a night of total escape from civilization.”

“du Lac” 2010 says:

“Within residence halls, the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages that contain in excess of fourteen percent (14 percent) alcohol by volume is prohibited. This regulation applies to all students and their guests, regardless of age.”

“The Dome” (1971, 1978) begs to differ:

These boys sitting in their 1971 dorm room seem to be taking on a different policy: see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. And do this with a bottle of liquor sitting comfortably on your lap.

These lady-Domers from 1978 take it one step further and completely surround themselves with bottles upon bottles of vodka in their dorm room.

“du Lac” (2010) says:

“Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages in open containers is prohibited in the corridors and common areas, such as lounges or lobbies, of University residence facilities.”

“Kegs are not permitted in any University residence hall, residence facility or anywhere else on University property.”

“The Dome” (1971):

This picture appears in the “Parties” section of the 1971 yearbook. Cups of beer and a keg in a dorm hallway — sounds like a ResLife to me. Alas, no. The boy on the right winks because he foresaw the nature of today’s dorm parties — 40 sweaty freshmen shoved into a quad, scrambling for places to hide their beer so they can run to the bathroom.

I will leave you students to ponder this final quote from “The Dome” of 1977. I’m not so sure I agree.

“If we weren’t meant to drink … God would not have made South Bend.”

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

Contact Marissa Frobes at mfrobes@nd.edu