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viewpoint

Redirect Crossroads

| Thursday, February 13, 2014

Observer staff, ND administration, Holy Cross brothers, and current and future Domers:

I’m just hoping Notre Dame really goes nuts with this Campus Crossroads Project and holds nothing back. Hot-tub seating areas in the end zones, cheerleaders with stripper poles and a tropical forest-themed seating area, two to four Jumbotrons (just one is for the poor schools), a 7-Eleven, a Chuck-E-Cheese for the kids and a rollercoaster built around the stadium complex. Maybe a giant eight- to 10-story leprechaun to juxtapose Touchdown Jesus would complete the experience. Oh, and some classrooms, too.
On an added note, I wonder what Pope Francis, the Brothers of the Holy Cross and the pencil sharpeners under the Dome (those concerned with excessive elitism/excessiveness, education affordability for all and help for the poor) were thinking when this ridiculous $400-million idea was hatched.

$400 million could hypothetically pay for one year of tuition ($50,000 range) for every single undergraduate on that campus (approximately 8,000) for one year. $50,000 is above the average individual mean income of the entire western world, yet we need to create the monstrosity of a “crossroads” of classrooms with a football field? Spend it, because we are Notre Dame and we can.

Is that the right message to send to old and new alums or Catholics alike? Is that the social message to send around the world from the most recognized Catholic university in that world? What is Notre Dame saying here? “Whatever happens in South Bend stays in South Bend?” Is this the carnivalization of one of the most beautiful institutions in the world? Is this ND-ocracy (idiocracy)?

What is this “vision”? The practicality — aside from the architectural controversy — left me scratching my head. What’s the goal? Classrooms “with a view”? Ridiculous.

My second-generation uncle just gave $1 million two years ago to Notre Dame’s general fund, and I am going to enlighten him on the details. The University does not need many more buildings or monuments to its own glory. It needs great students from all walks of life, sitting in desks, learning great things and exploring challenging ideas at an affordable price.

The rest will follow, including beautiful, historic football games each fall for decades to come, amongst Our Lady’s other traditions.

Colin Fleming
alumnus
class of ’92
Feb. 12

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