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We are … educated?

Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 23, 2009

I am so embarrassed. We are at an institution of higher learning. Those who are leaving here with a diploma are supposed to be cultivated individuals, having the ability to receive and reflect upon conflicting viewpoints, and furthermore, to be able to understand a wider picture, one that goes beyond the Notre Dame bubble, and beyond the teachings of one religion. Graduates from our fine school should be able to see more, not less.

I am disgusted that many of my classmates aren’t able to see the bigger picture. It does not matter for whom you voted. Obama is the president now. That is the first point: The President of the United States of America is coming to our University to speak at our graduation. Are you not honored? Are you telling me that if the president said that he would come to your house to have tea, you would tell him no, thank you, because he advocates different opinions than your own? President Obama is obviously an educated and thoughtful man. He is worth listening to.

Secondly, to focus on one issue on his platform, or to focus on only one issue out of the many currently troubling our world is to completely miss the point. Obama stands for much more than a pro-choice platform. He stands for a chance for change, a drive for unity. His election was a monumental step forward for this country! That is what is important. That is what is being honored.

Finally, debate is important. Articulating one’s own morally and factually informed beliefs is important. These are valuable parts of any good university. There will no doubt be frustration on both sides as the discussion continues. I can only hope that the discussion is an intelligent one that does not resort to name-calling or uninformed positions. I also hope that members of the Notre Dame community are able to remember that we should work for solidarity and mutual understanding rather than for opportunities to shout from our respective soapboxes. And, for the sake of all involved, please leave the protests outside on graduation day. This day is about the graduates and their families. I have worked hard for this day. We have all worked hard. Blood, sweat and tears hard. Please don’t ruin it.

Beata Aldridge


off campus

March 22