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Proud to be Vermin

Andrew Owens | Thursday, November 4, 2010

You have all heard jokes about Carroll Hall. Most of you have probably made one or two (or more) comments yourselves about the Lakeside Estate during your time at Notre Dame.

For a resident of Carroll, every conversation with someone you meet eventually reaches, “Oh, you’re in Carroll? I’m sorry.”

Don’t be.

When I first learned I was going to live in Carroll, I will admit I was pretty disappointed. It did not take long, however, for me to realize that being placed as a Vermin was a blessing, not a curse.

With only 100 residents, we are the smallest community on (or off, depending on how you look at it) Notre Dame’s campus. Generally speaking, students in other dorms are familiar only with other people in their section and floor. At Carroll, we know everyone in the dorm and are comfortable walking into anyone’s room, sitting down and having a conversation with them. No other dorm can say that.

And for the people who think Carroll is a half-hour walk from campus, it’s only a couple minutes to Lyons. We may not be in the center of campus activities, but let’s be honest — neither is Mod Quad. Plus, when we look out our windows, we see the lake and the Golden Dome (the best view at Notre Dame). Mod Quad sees a bunch of awkward architecture.

It would be hard for any dorm to accomplish what Carroll has in this young school year so far. We built a new “Go Irish!” banner that proudly hangs from the front of our dorm on football weekends. It consists of 72 bed sheets, 50,000 staples, and 5 gallons of paint.

The 50 new freshmen participated in “Vermin Go Gold,” a Carroll tradition in which each first year student’s hair is dyed gold (or orange in some unfortunate cases).

Former Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps visited Carroll a few weeks ago and so eloquently stated, “Carroll Hall is the best dorm on campus.”

Brian Kelly will also be stopping by the Lakeside Estate second semester because the Vermin won the Dorm Spirit Competition from an earlier pep rally by carrying the old “Go Irish!” banner (also 72 bed sheets) across campus to Irish Green.

Despite our size, we have top-notch athletic teams this year. Our soccer team is 4-0 with a win over defending champion Siegfried as the playoffs are just beginning. Our football team went 3-1 during the regular season and earned its second consecutive playoff bid. The baseball team did its share as well, advancing to the semi-finals to play in Eck Stadium after a 3-1 regular season and postseason victory.

So, Domers, we at Carroll Hall don’t want (or need) your sympathy. Save it for the football team.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Andrew Owens at aowens2@nd.edu