The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Commercial concerns

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, October 3, 2006

I completely disagree with Dr. Mick Connor’s letter (“Walk the Walk?” Oct. 1) printed concerning the “desperate” housewives commercial aired on ABC during the Michigan State game. Just because the Notre Dame community of administration, students and alumni did not question an ABC television commercial does not indicate that the Notre Dame family is losing its moral values.

Notre Dame is a unique school in that it prides itself on creating students that desire to make a positive change in their world. I believe that almost every student contributes their part to create change. Whether they volunteer at a location in the South Bend community, support election issues that they feel support the ND community, or spend a summer or school break doing a service project, students develop positive moral traits that they continue to portray throughout their lives after ND.

It is indeed a reality that the plotlines of modern television entertainment involve themes of deceit, violence and explicit sexuality. The show that Dr. Connor refers to does involve some of these themes, yet does not remain far away from the majority of television and news programs present in the media today. Just as our parents may have watched murder mysteries and soap operas, today’s culture may enjoy television shows such as the one advertised in the commercial.

In fact, while living in my dorm last year, 15 to 20 girls would gather in our social space every Sunday evening to watch the “trash” that Connor believes is displayed by the program. The program conveniently ended right before our dorm’s 10 o’clock mass, to which many of the girls would attend. I highly doubt that by watching this fictional show my moral character, or the moral characters of my classmates, was questioned or compromised.

If one’s moral values could be compromised simply by watching a television program, this could be prevented by simply NOT watching the show. If you do not want your children to be influenced, do not let them watch the program, or ask them to close their eyes during the “trashy” commercial.

Although I understand that the commercial for this program, as well as the program itself, may offend some viewers, I maintain the belief that the airing of this commercial had no connection to our University, and was out of Notre Dame’s control. The University did not directly endorse or display this commercial and therefore it is not a representation of what it believes.

ABC understands that people all over the country watch the Notre Dame games, and therefore this would probably be a perfect opportunity to advertise one of its most popular shows. When I think back to my experience of watching the Michigan State game, I do not think of watching the “trashy” commercial. Instead I remember the rollercoaster of emotions I felt as our team made a spectacular comeback to win the game. It is a shame that one could let a single television commercial spoil an entire experience of watching our team pull through to victory.

Notre Dame has greater issues to attend to than whining and wasting time complaining about a television commercial. Everyday the university has to make countless decisions to better the educational and athletic experiences of students at the university.

To answer Connor’s question, yes, we are ND. And we will still be ND, whether we are watching a television commercial or watching our team fight for victory. And yes, we will still be ND as we retain our moral character and “walk the walk” of positively changing the world.

Brittany Gragg


off campus