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Finding hope in a loveless place

| Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Editor’s Note: The direct quotes in this column came directly from the mind of Matt Miklavic. All similarities to words spoken or thought by the mind of readers is purely coincidental.
Reflecting on the state of the American colonies more than 230 years ago, Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” More than two centuries later, Notre Dame finds itself face to face with a threat to freedom that far eclipses unfair taxation and unwanted tea. I write today to discuss an injustice the likes of which has not been seen since Pabst Blue Ribbon was sold off to the Russians. I write today to discuss the tyranny of Lewis Hall, which recently voted for a ban on PDA within its public space.

Admittedly, this has no impact on my personal life. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been to Lewis since my Frosh-O; any romantic interests I have live nowhere near it. As a member of the Notre Dame community, however, I cannot help but look out for those friends and strangers alike that are affected. I cannot help but be my brother’s and sister’s keeper. In the words of Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In the words of Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for mediocre columnists to do nothing.” So here I am to raise a voice for the voiceless — which I guess in this case is PDA-enthusiasts? God only knows how I became their spokesman.

I first heard of this story nearly two weeks ago and immediately began investigating. The first step in my investigation, it seemed, would be to make sure such an event did in fact take place. As such, I set out to confirm whether the rumors were true.

I learned the vote was apparently lopsided in favor of the ban, but could hardly imagine the arguments in favor of such absurdity. Instead, I imagined the conversations and arguments went more like this:

“What is this, a high school dance?” a Lewis resident would remark.

“Wait, you didn’t make out at school dances?” her visibly surprised male friend would ask as he crossed “Lewis Crush” off his schedule.

“Is anyone in Lewis’s Hall Council not single?” someone would demand in an icy tone, before sauntering off for what could only be assumed to be some legal lakeside canoodling.

Arguing for the other side, one student would note, “PDA is like overactive group texts. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Next thing you know, you’ve got 113 texts, and your phone is frozen.”

Sounds like a personal problem.

A young man on the way to his significant other’s room would mention he was glad he was first-aid certified. “Have to imagine there’s going to be a big spike in, uhh, ‘CPR’ around here,” he said, leaving with a devious grin one gets only when surprising themselves with their own cleverness.

Another student would suggest Lewis channel its inner Thoreau by breaking out some civil disobedience via a “sit in, make out” session, an idea enthusiastically endorsed by bystanders.

“Hip Hop Night: Lewis Edition!” someone would shout in support.

A more incredulous student would wonder where the madness would end. “What’s next? Are they going to take away our right to break parietals?”

Now, I’m not here to defend PDA, per say. In successive months I’ve had to witness a 9 a.m. make-out session in a TSA line and be on duty for a Siegfried SYR. There was PDA aplenty. As such, I can appreciate the desire for couples to take their act to a private area, or for Lewis residents to be able to get from the library to their beds without having to vault a pair of post-Feve lovebirds.

That said, last time I checked, Notre Dame was within these here United States of America. A land of unparalleled opportunity. A land of freedom, warm apple pie, and @ndmakeouts. So, at the end of the day, let’s take it easy on the censorship, and let those souls seeking to keep the “P” in “PDA” be in Lewis’s 24-hour space. Besides, it could be worse.

I could have to see it in Siegfried.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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