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viewpoint

The battle of Knott Knoll

| Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Last Friday, on Sept. 25, the men of Knott Hall made another earth-shattering move that sent waves through the Notre Dame.

In light of the recent construction encroaching on our territory, we decided to reclaim what land we had left in a ceremony that now claims both sides of what used to be Knott Knoll. The middle of it was dug out to accommodate a so-called “social betterment project” — a sidewalk. Obviously feeling threatened and cornered politically, we had to act and act fast. We gathered on our side of the hill where one of our hall presidents delivered the following speech, proclaiming again the glory and pride of Knott Hall:

“Gentlemen, for what and for whom are we gathered here today on this precious land? We are here in Marion Knott’s name for our Knott forefathers, for us who carry the torch of the Juggerknott ways and for generations of Juggs to come.

Knott Hall has had a long history of oppression and conflict. Our people have been stripped of our land time and time again ever since the Great Exodus of 1996 from Flanner, when Br. Jerome, “BroJo,” split the Mod Quad in two and led his people to safety as they fled from the Office of Community Standards. They found refuge in the land we now know as Knott Hall, where milk and honey flowed freely, thanks in part to our matriarch, Marion Burk Knott. The men of Knott lived in peace and prosperity for 18 long years in what we now know today as the Era of Knotty Feelings. The single-most important event in this period occurred when the former presidents of Knott — Ryan Scheffler, Danny Lempres and Andrew Weiler — declared, dedicated and sanctioned our very own Knott Quad on April 24, 2013. It was our land. We tilled it, nurtured it and sustained it. But most of all, we loved it.

Almost two years later on the date, the imperialistic nature of the administration would have no more of it. After planting colonies on the southern entrance, and in the east with the faculty wellness center, they felt it necessary to make their move. Gentlemen, those two new dorms that we see today are firmly nestled on what was formerly Knott Quad. We protested valiantly and in good humor, but the University turned a blind eye towards our dorm.

As if that was not enough, to the surprise of us all as we retuned to campus, we found that our own Knott Knoll, what we are standing on as we speak, was flattened and divided, virtually decimating what land we had left. In a blatant attempt to give to Siegfried what’s “theirs” and what they claim to be the “Siegfried Slope,” they put this sidewalk to divide and appease. But we know that appeasement doesn’t work, don’t we? Gentlemen, I beseech you, march with me. We shall stake claim to what is ours. To the administration, you can build a sidewalk, but it will not keep us out. Let’s make Knott Hall great again! For I know three things: there is a God, I’m not Him and that He gave this land to the best dorm on campus — Knott Hall.”

The men of Knott then marched onto the other side, conquering yet another vital piece of land for our beloved dorm. However, we know this is an eternal struggle. The University and Siegfried are obviously conspiring, and the ball is now in their court. We might have won the battle, but the war is coming.

Drew Martin
Robert Billups
Patrick Sheehan
co-presidents
Knott Hall

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • FinalDanish

    It is clear the article’s prose leaves this to be a comedic satire. However, in all legitimacy, I’m curious if any of these students have considered the indigenous native American peoples from which this land was taken? Who are we to suppose that some God decided that certain people be the sole claimant of a piece of land? That argument ignores all the history behind a place and ends up to be quite egoist. It’s ironic. This ignorance has led full circle where we see the University administration itself now “forcibly reclaiming” land despite other’s protests. Not that ironic though since ND has actually owned the land since 1842.

    • oco

      In all fairness, this is satire, not egoistic. If you’re going to take it that seriously then technically the entire University rests on land claimed from indigenous natives. And if you’re arguing that, why not argue it a step further–who were the natives to say they owned this land? Who did they take it from? The argument here becomes cyclical.

      • FinalDanish

        Thanks for the reply. Your right in that yes it’s primarily satirical. I read the article with minimal seriousness. I just thought of it as an opportunity to bring up the Native American history of the place. Although true that Native Americans may not have “owned” the land (and really no one owns any land), more important is ensuring a respect for the places we reside and call home. Silly squabbles on the building of walkways and new campus buildings gives little importance to the more pressing matter of making sure this land is protected for future generations during the temporary time we use it. We must be in a mindset of sustainability and care, as in care for our common home.

  • Cbreezy

    #NousSommesKnottHommes