Let’s be fair
Andrew Moser | Thursday, March 3, 2011
In a conversation with his girlfriend in “The Social Network,” Mark Zuckerberg sums up the opinion held by many Notre Dame students: “You don’t have to study because you go to BU” (substitute Saint Mary’s here for Boston University). Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s relations have seemingly always been strained, and mostly because of condescending remarks and attitudes like these from Notre Dame students. The recently addressed stereotype of the “MRS degree” does not help Saint Mary’s students feel less slighted, and neither does the assumption that Saint Mary’s girls are not challenged academically. It’s called higher learning for a reason, and it is unfair for us to believe that substandard scholarship exists across the street.
However, I believe there is another side to this debate. Saint Mary’s students often do Domers an injustice when responding to unfairly derogatory remarks; they equate the two schools. Notre Dame students have performed simply extraordinary feats in academics, community service, athletics and other areas to get into this premier university, and we continue to do so in our work here. Please understand that I am not slighting the intelligence or effort of our sister school to the west; rather, I am doing the opposite.
Saint Mary’s is ranked the No. 93 National Liberal Arts College by the US News and World Report, a truly noteworthy recognition befitting a fine school. But at the same time, that same publication ranks the University of Notre Dame as the No. 19 National University. You would not say that the Illinois Fighting Illini, a highly regarded basketball team, is on the same level as the Chicago Bulls. Players on each team work their hearts out every day: shooting, conditioning, lifting weights and watching film.
Each team is well-respected in its own right, with greatly talented players. They’re just in different leagues.