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Save St. Edward’s lofts – and dorm identity

Daniel Sullivan | Monday, April 16, 2012

Every pamphlet, tour and administrator brags about dorm life at Notre Dame. Most students stay in the same dorm all four years, and each hall is a community. Our system succeeds, because each hall has its own particular identity. This is only the case because Keenan Hall is different than Keough Hall, Walsh Hall is different than Welsh Family Hall, and so on. These differences and traditions give each incoming student something to be proud of, and each upperclassman something to hold on to.

The Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH) wants to change that.

I live in St. Edward’s Hall, and I’ve grown to love it. We’re old, we’re small and we’re family. We don’t have air conditioning, we don’t have nice lounges and we barely have a working elevator. But this doesn’t really matter, because what makes St. Edward’s Hall such a great home is the student-built lofts that turn our cramped rooms into the best living spaces on campus. Our lofts are safe. There hasn’t been a collapse in years, the lofts have never been a fire-hazard and I haven’t heard of anyone falling off during my time here.

Next year, ORLH will begin phasing out the lofts in favor of modular furniture. By 2013, every room will have the same mandatory, uniform and boring furniture as other dorms. But St. Edward’s without its lofts is like Dillon without its size, or Siegfried without its athletics, or Zahm without its crazy. ORLH, by stripping St. Edward’s Hall of one of its few perks, is only going to push upperclassmen off campus, and the traditions of our oldest dorm with them. We’ll quickly lose most of what makes St. Edward’s so great.

By banning lofts, ORLH is slowly destroying one of the best aspects of Notre Dame: dorm identity. Why not end SYR’s, dorm mascots and everything else that makes a hall a home? This is just one step towards the conformity that will turn our dorms from vibrant communities into the lifeless apartment complexes of other schools.

So, if members of administration listen at all to students, I beg you: save St. Edward’s Hall.

Daniel Sullivan

freshman

St. Edward’s Hall

April 17