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Alumni need compassion

Letter to the Editor | Monday, December 1, 2008

My last game as a student at Notre Dame was pretty much as painful as could possibly be expected. Yes, I cried. I stood the entire game, including half time, in the freezing cold, just like the rest of the senior class. I cheered my hardest. I did every possible thing I could think of to make the experience the best I possibly could. I went to the Pep Rally and Drummers’ Circle. I tailgated. I ate a steak sandwich at the Knights of Columbus stand and a brat from a student-run concession stand. I participated in the marshmallow fight at half time. I did NOT throw snowballs. At anyone. And I DID ask those around me to stop. I got hit with a pretty hard snowball right in the neck and I suffered the redness and cold for the rest of the game.

I don’t think that students were trying to injure the players or anyone. They were trying to make the best of the fact that they were stuck in the snow for four hours. The snowballs that I saw being thrown were all well before we even considered it a possibility that we might lose that game. It was very immature and childish, but for me, the snowballs were the very least of what made my experience so sad. I didn’t get to celebrate the end of my football fan-dom as a student. Instead, I got to see Syracuse jumping around in the middle of our band during the Alma Mater and Fight Song. I will never be able to forget that sight and how terrible it made me feel. I didn’t get to see our senior players run around the field one last time. The team ran out that tunnel as soon as they possibly could. We students stayed out there for a long time afterward, but the players were gone immediately.

And then, to top it all off, now alumni are writing in to the Observer and saying things like, “Class of 2009, you are an embarrassment to yourselves and to Domers everywhere.” Thanks a lot alumni. I really appreciate your support. The Notre Dame family is really making me feel loved. You’re really helping an already painful situation. You guys are saying that you thought the student body was better than that. Well, I thought our alumni were smarter than to make hurtful generalizations like that. Apparently we were all wrong.

Tanya VanSkyock


Breen-Phillips Hall

Nov. 24