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Zahm House resolution out of context

Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 27, 2006

I am responding to Katie Perry’s March 24 article contrasting dorm life and fraternities (“Domers defend dorm life at Notre Dame”).

I dispute Perry’s opening thesis that the Nov. 16 Student Senate Resolution SS0506-14 Recognizing Zahm Hall as Zahm House “demonstrated the desire some students have for an officially recognized Greek system at Notre Dame.”

The resolution did not support that end. No references were made to fraternal or Greek life, either in the resolution itself or in the question and answer period that followed its introduction. The minutes of the meeting support this claim. Furthermore, the scope of the resolution was limited to student recognition. It did not seek administrative or other approval for any Greek or fraternal status because there were no such references, desires or requests for Greek or fraternal status, implied or otherwise.

Perry helps to justify her claim by stating, “Dillon senator Dan Bowen opposed the resolution and said Zahm was ‘trying to leave the impression they’re a fraternity.'” Bowen followed that statement by invoking the memory of George Kostanza of Seinfeld fame and later informed the Senate of the gender inequality of only recognizing male dorms, much to the laughter of other senators. The minutes of the meeting and the Nov. 17 edition of The Observer reflect this. Bowen’s remarks were clearly in jest, not to be used as support for other claims.

The Zahm House resolution only demonstrated Zahm’s desire to be recognized for its unique place in the Notre Dame residential culture. The assertion that Zahm was demonstrating the desire of some students for a Greek system is out of context and wholly inaccurate.

Pat KnappjuniorZahm Hall senatorMarch 25