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Alternative ways to fight ordinance

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I have been following your coverage of the proposed ordinance by the South Bend Common Council to require registration for certain off campus parties. I would like to share an observation or two with your readers.

First, I cannot condone bad behavior by Notre Dame students, but I’m reasonably certain that only a small minority of all undergraduate students is at the heart of this problem. Whether or not the Common Council is over-reacting with this particular ordinance, there may be some justification for their concerns, nevertheless.

I was a student at ND some years ago now, and while I lived on campus all four years, I remember that the trek back at closing time from what was then known as Frankie’s could be somewhat raucous.

However, if the Common Council is singling out Notre Dame students for disparate treatment, there should be recourse through the courts to have the ordinance nullified on constitutional grounds.

That said, if Notre Dame students feel that they are being made unwelcome by the South Bend Council, then they should explore every opportunity to take their business elsewhere. If a concerted effort, for example, was made to purchase all necessities (read: beer, wine, etc.) outside of South Bend, (in say, Niles and Mishawaka) perhaps the Common Council would have a better appreciation of the value that the Notre Dame students bring to South Bend year round.

Perhaps too, the University could make more off campus housing available to students away from the troubled neighborhood by providing accommodations in apartments and houses to the north and east of the campus outside of South Bend.

If students were directed to suitable housing where their presence would be less disruptive, I am sure that many students would choose to live in areas that are safe, welcoming, and convenient to campus outside of South Bend.

If nothing else, a skirmish such as this one can be a good vehicle to take everyone’s mind off the football season; and with winter just around the corner, a little something to keep the blood pumping is in order.

Russ StoneClass of 72Amherst, OHSept. 24