The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Annex SMC

Mark Easley | Wednesday, November 10, 2010

With the recession still roaring strong, it is time for us to evaluate what really matters in terms of priorities for the next few years at this University. Notre Dame is still a growing school and it is important to make sure that growth is directed in a positive manner. I think we all know what I’m about to say and you are probably agreeing to its inevitability. Notre Dame should annex Saint Mary’s.

Why would you suggest such a hubris proposal, sir?

There is actually much to be gained by both sides with a merger of these two historic institutions. A Notre Dame education will be accessible to more than 1,500 undergraduates. The women of Saint Mary’s will no longer be put under the oppressive thumb of draconian single-sex education. Notre Dame will gain some great new classroom buildings, dorms, another gym, more athletic fields and another dining hall (can you imagine meeting at Way Far dining hall for dinner? We can work on the names later). The Keenan Revue could return to O’Laughlin auditorium. The influx of females might improve Notre Dame football recruiting. Saint Mary’s students can not only enjoy the dining halls on main campus again but also get access to our top notch technical degree programs. Notre Dame would get the Nursing program to go along with our popular pre-med community and have the ability to produce the finest teachers in the country with the teaching certification program. Notre Dame students would have a chance to learn from the best college faculty members and Saint Mary’s will get all the resources Notre Dame has to offer for just a minor name change. Heck, we already share the same zip code.

But what of the cost, Mark?

The current Saint Mary’s College endowment is valued at around 100 million dollars. By comparison, Notre Dame has well over 4 billion dollars in endowment. Factoring in the land and asset values of prime northern Indiana real estate, Notre Dame could easily absorb our sister school without significant financial detriment. It’s actually a much better investment than anything in the stock market. And I’m sure the Sisters of Holy Cross would love that lump of cash in the Order’s coffers.

But Mark, isn’t it too far away?

Saint Mary’s really is not that far at all when you don’t have to walk. The current bus system could be reformed to provide an express bus to and from the Saint Mary’s campus through the road that runs by the grotto. It is a very common at many schools to have a satellite campus that requires a bus service. As we all know, main campus is pretty much saturated for space (unless we wanted to replace the Knights of Columbus with a Taco Bell, just kidding, or am I?). The new direction to build will be out toward Carroll or Stepan Center. No one wants to live by Carroll (just ask people that live there) and Stepan is a historical landmark. No, the obvious choice is to acquisition the territory across the street.

Won’t this water down Notre Dame prestige?

Blasphemy I say! The same high standards of acceptance will still be in effect after the merger. Over time the initial gender imbalance can also be corrected. How dare you use elitism as an argument (like trying to justify the takeover of something because you feel you are somehow better)!

But, what if I just have an underlying and inexplicable disdain of St. Mary’s chicks?

Shame on you. The lovely ladies across the lakes have much to offer the world. Except for the ones that will inevitably hate on me for writing this article and the ones that are glad the Keenan Revue is gone. Feel free to hate on them.

Mark, you so crazy!

False — everything I propose is calculated and well thought out. Yes we will lose a Saint Mary’s College, but the world will gain a better University of Notre Dame. Sorry Holy Cross, looks like you are getting the shaft again. Maybe next time.


Mark Easley is a junior majoring in computer science. He can be reached at measley@nd.edu

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