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viewpoint

Push for more from Notre Dame

| Friday, August 21, 2015

Love thee Notre Dame.

Members of the class of 2019, you will hear those words countless times over the next four years, everywhere from The Alma Mater to Instagram posts.

Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are places worthy and deserving of our love. The professors, administrators, staff and students that make up these institutions will have a profound impact on you that will last far beyond your time on campus. For that, they should be loved.

But how should we show our affection for this place, our home?

We can cheer on our sports teams. We can perform well in the classroom. We can form lasting friendships in our dorms. All of these are wonderful examples of ways to give back to Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

Yet sometimes, showing our love will require a little more effort and discomfort. Sometimes, we need to acknowledge failures, both personal and institutional.

The beginning of each school year brings promise of fresh beginnings and new resolutions. And for these promises to come to fruition, we need someone to call us out on our mistakes.

Here at Welcome Weekend, mistakes and failures may seem like unnecessarily gloomy talk when you are embarking on a new exciting stage of your life. But as any graduate or rising senior will tell you, time flies here. Welcome Weekend will become Senior Week faster than you could possibly imagine.

Don’t let that happen without making your mark. Challenge yourself, challenge your friends, challenge your professors and challenge this University and this College to become better. We can always be better.

If you truly love Notre Dame, you should not be afraid to occasionally criticize when it deserves to be criticized, just as you should be quick to praise when it merits praise. Anyone who equates suggestions for improvement with disloyalty does not understand that Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are not infallible.

Here at The Observer, we hope to provide you with a forum for making these suggestions. These pages are yours to fill. Whether you write a letter to the editor (something I encourage everyone to do) or join a club or organization devoted to better serving our local community and beyond, you will find your way into the pages of our paper, because we are dedicated to covering the people who make a difference.

And when we inevitably fall short of our own high standards, let us know how we can do better. We exist only to serve you.

So welcome, class of 2019. I sincerely hope you learn to love thee, Notre Dame. Love thee for what it is, and for what it can be.

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

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About Greg Hadley

Greg Hadley is a senior from Rockville, Maryland, majoring in political science with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He served as The Observer's Editor-in-Chief for the 2015-2016 term and currently covers Notre Dame baseball and women's basketball.

Contact Greg