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Breaking the bubble

| Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I want to take a moment and reflect on a phenomenon that makes me really, truly sad. When I applied to Notre Dame, and when I visited after I was accepted, I was constantly reminded of the community that is so special to this University. My first year is drawing to a close, and as I muse on all that’s happened and how fast the time has gone (time really does fly when you’re having fun and only getting five hours of sleep a night), my mind keeps returning to the same thing.

I am proud of this community. At the same time, however, I am disappointed in this community. There have been moments when I could feel an overwhelming sense of apathy, and I could not just shake it off. The growing epidemic of apathy isn’t unique to Notre Dame, but that does not mean that it is okay in any way for it to continue to flourish here. I believe that we have an “out of sight, out of mind” problem, and although this may be an unpopular opinion, it is unrealistic to continue naively living in this “Notre Dame bubble.” Most students acknowledge that this bubble exists, yet go on with their lives with little thought of breaking the bubble.

It’s time to break the bubble. It is not something to be proud of. Living an existence where one is aware of his isolation yet does nothing to fix it is ignorant. Yes, the bubble is safe, but the bubble is no excuse to be apathetic toward world events, of conflicts, of suffering or of anything that occurs outside our campus perimeters.

Yet it isn’t solely an issue of being apathetic toward world events. There is also the issue of being apathetic toward campus problems, such as sexual assault or mental illness. It’s disheartening and heartbreaking to see the response to an email reporting a sexual assault. Little attention is paid to respecting the victim or showing support to all sexual assault victims. Instead, it’s used as another opportunity to make fun of a dorm.

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

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