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Eating religiously

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, February 26, 2004

I realize that it is the Lenten season for Catholics, but it seems that the University has forgotten that a large population of the students here are not Catholic.

When I walked into the dining hall on Ash Wednesday, I was offended and angry to find that absolutely no meat products, save for fish, was being offered at the dining halls. Chicken patties had been replaced by grilled cheese, taco meat was replaced by shrimp and the sandwich bar only had peanut butter and jelly. Laughably, even the bacon bits from the salad bar had been removed, which do not contain any real meat products.

While I understand that this is a Catholic university, the Notre Dame administration has crossed the line into fascism by forcing their views upon us. I can understand if the dining halls had more non-meat selections to cater to the Catholics on all the Fridays from now until Easter, but to absolutely remove meat from the dining halls at these times is a violation of my right to choose.

My shock at not finding meat at the dining halls was shared by many – Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Even my fundamentalist Catholic friends agreed that the University should offer meat to its non-Catholic students; and not surprisingly, many of my Catholic friends do consume meat products other than fish on Ash Wednesday.

The administration has been going down a slippery slope and forcefully exercising its iron fist more and more. Not only has it prohibited many Mardi Gras celebrations – as previously mentioned in Viewpoint – but it now has crossed the line into controlling our food consumption, forcing us into practicing its Catholic beliefs.

That is simply too far.

Chris VierigfreshmanKeenan HallFeb. 25