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Arrogance about Boston College out of line

Letter to the Editor | Monday, October 15, 2007

I am writing mainly in response to Matthew Quering’s Oct. 11 letter (“More than football”), but on a broader scale: To anyone who is of the mindset that Boston College is below Notre Dame in any way, whether it’s football or academics.

To say that Boston College is “inferior to us across the board” on the basis that “many students there applied here and weren’t accepted” is one of the most arrogant attitudes I’ve heard or seen written. All I can say to your notion that Notre Dame’s history, stature and tradition is somehow superior to any other institution is this: Get off your high four horsemen. As a transfer student to Notre Dame in my sophomore year, I was one of those “students that applied here but weren’t accepted,” and it disappoints me to find that part of the Notre Dame community that I live with, go to class with and call home apparently looks down on me as “inferior,” or at least they did for the one year that I wasn’t accepted here.

Yes, it might be true that many Catholic universities across the country have a high percentage of students who applied to Notre Dame but were not chosen for admission. While this might come as a wake up call to some Notre Dame students, this does not doom them to certain failure. President Lyndon Johnson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the current mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daly, are just a few examples of the countless number of people who attended Catholic universities that aren’t Notre Dame. Our own President, Father John Jenkins, attended Creighton for a time, but it would be impolite to say he was “inferior” for going to a “lesser school,” wouldn’t it? As a student who attended a Catholic university not named Notre Dame for a time, I looked at Notre Dame students as what I aspired to be, not as people who were superior to me

US News and World Report currently puts Notre Dame at No. 19 on its list of top national universities. Regardless of how accurate these rankings are, if you want to say Notre Dame is the best and all other institutions are inferior, that’s fine. Just be prepared to put your nose to the grindstone until Notre Dame is No. 1 in every category and in every facet of this institution. Until then, take a step back, and realize that academic communities like Notre Dame build off other institutions and we don’t prosper by believing ourselves to be superior to others.

Instead we should (and do) work together with other Catholic universities, including (gasp) Boston College. Both Notre Dame and Boston College are exceptional academic and athletic institutions that deserve the respect of those that graduate from their hallowed halls.

John Witty


Stanford Hall

Oct. 11