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



A different sort of confession

Lauren Morisseau | Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I have a confession to make.

Last week, the ND Confessions Facebook page was starting to get under my skin. Sometimes I would read a post that resonated, but more often, after reading the comments underneath, I exited my browser dismayed and slightly nauseous. I did what I thought I should do.

I “unliked” the page.

But today I read Alex Caton’s column about speaking out about provocative issues on campus. He used ND Confessions as an example of a controversial campus phenomenon. Suddenly it hit me: I am not alright with what is going on. I do not think the style of commenting is appropriate for a community that defines itself as a “family.” I might have unliked the page, but I am not going to ignore it anymore.

I’ll admit I am emotionally raw from my participation in the recent campus production “Show Some Skin: It’s Complicated,” but I am appalled at how some ND Confessions are treated. I spent two months pouring over the anonymous monologue I was assigned for Show Some Skin, weighing every word and punctuation mark, fretting I would not do justice to the author’s experience. We grappled with our confessional monologues, showing them the utmost respect. So, when I see someone comment under an ND Confession by a struggling, asexual female student by telling her to “try animals,” yes, I am going to feel extremely offended. She is a person who opened up to find relief and maybe comfort, but our online community, her family, mocked her.

Do we realize there are human beings behind those confessions? Really, do we? And is the thrill of seeing “likes” pile up underneath your comment worth the pain you are causing someone? Worth making them feel even more marginalized? If you think so, that’s pathetic.

Despite my ire, I would actually like to thank the creator of ND Confessions, whoever you are. You are showing us the tender, honest and sometimes ugly underbelly of this community, and if we use the venue you have created correctly, we can learn so much about how to improve as a community.

So please, think before you comment.


Lauren Morisseau


Breen-Phillips Hall