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Unnecessary sense of entitlement

Letter to the Editor | Friday, April 25, 2008

I am very excited for Ms. Bradley about the many things at Notre Dame that float her boat (“You know what really floats my boat?,” April 24); this school has provided me with an array of opportunities as well. However, while I share the pride of attending this institution with Ms. Bradley and many other students here, I hope that I do not share the haughtiness and borderline arrogance that her letter seems to emanate.

I was honestly excited to read Bradley’s Hammerstein-esque list of her “favorite things.” It did bother me that she told those on this campus who are willing to engage in debate to “shut up.” Since when do debate, clever sarcasm and an occasional tongue-in-cheek letter constitute “ripping on Notre Dame and each other?”

Bradley’s list contained some examples that, I hope, are not representative of the student population here. “The concept that at home my friends ask if I am even going to be graduating on time, and my friends here assume that I am, and then ask what I will be doing next year” is an arrogant statement, not a confident one, and it is every bit as judgmental as the “entitled” students that Bradley references. “The fact that most outsiders hate our school because, honestly, they’re just jealous” is worse; not only does it set Notre Dame up to be an untouchable institution and a paragon of exclusivity, but it also gives those who know nothing about this school an excellent reason to hate it.

I believe that Notre Dame, like any other organization, has many strengths and many weaknesses. But I would like to think that one of its strengths is its ability to form students who represent the school after graduation with honor and dignity, not cattiness and spitefulness towards those who are not members.

Bradley’s letter is a “diatribe” not unlike many of the other letters that she sees fit to respond to. Pride in one’s institution and, more importantly, in one’s own personal accomplishments is admirable; a false sense of entitlement and arrogance brought about both by one’s ego and by one’s collegiate standing is not.

I really hope I’m not reading too much into this letter (and I won’t address in depth the assumption that most student’s parents fund their $40,000 or more annual bill, since that may have been an innocent oversight on your part), but it bothers me when students use a sense of entitlement to carve out their own identities. I am very happy for you that you have had a successful career at this school, and I wish you great success in your future career. I welcome your responses, and I sincerely hope that you can prove my reading of your letter wrong.

Finally, I will give you the last word, as I definitely agree with one of your finer points: Notre Dame is “an experience that will undoubtedly influence the rest of your life.”

Greg Abbracciamento


Morrissey Manor

April 24