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The evils of the admin

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, February 12, 2009

It is unfortunate that Mr. Griffith’s recent letter (“Tradition never graduates,” Feb. 9) concerning the disappearance of some of the most beloved traditions at Notre Dame is no hyperbole, but the daunting reality that can, and should, be traced back to the current administration.

The “iron fist” has done more than cancel events enjoyed by Alumni, visitors and students alike, thus putting a damper on weekends. No, if this were all that the abolition of the Frosh-O shoe date did, then I should probably reevaluate where I am focusing my attention. These unfounded measures however, have actually threatened the educational development of Notre Dame students. The banning of social, theatrical, sporting and other events reduces students’ opportunities for networking and enhancing interpersonal skills.

I recently spoke with a trusted professor about this issue, who, to my surprise, shared this concern with the students in his Seminar. He referenced a recent study that concluded that the number of Notre Dame students who have preformed well in interviews has decreased significantly since the late 1990s. Clearly, we aren’t getting enough practice in the art of persuasion. Consequently, fine skills for which students’ tirelessly strive to achieve are going unnoticed in the real world. The unwanted result: the all important news rankings suffer.

Furthermore, many alumni have been personally offended upon visiting Notre Dame, finding themselves treated in a less than favorable manner by authority figures. Grown men have been kicked to the ground by horses, mothers reprimanded for wondering where they should park to drop of their child’s luggage and I have been personally appalled by the growing lack of guidance for undergraduates. Not only do we face a spring without the opportunity to meet every resident in Fisher, but one with no real hope for improvement by next year.

I humbly ask of all Domers and friends of the University – past, present and future – to voice your trepidations about the changes that may not be so helpful after all.

To ResLife: I thank you for your concern, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to practice how to make a favorable first impression through events that bring the traditions of all dorms together. Here’s to the resurrection of the fondly remembered AnTostal festival, the Dillon Pep Rally, the Alumni Wake, the Fisher Zoo and all the other runs, songs and dances that built the Notre Dame tradition.

My only wish is that I will depart having participated in these events, leaving me with precious memories and not wondering what it would have been like to know what the phrase “tradition never graduates” actually means.

Nicola Menchetti


Cavanaugh Hall

Feb. 11