The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Tradition of East Lounge

James Stein | Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I would like to open with the statement that I am a student in the Program of Liberal Studies. Students in our course of study inevitably pick up some respect for tradition. This is of course a fitting sentiment for a Notre Dame student.

Notre Dame students carry their love of tradition to their faith, their fun and their LaFortune. LaFortune is divided into many parts, each with its own culture. I personally frequent LaMent, that is, LaFortune basement. Even the basement is divided very clearly into parts with different rules and norms. These rules, like many of the rules and norms of our own culture, are largely unwritten. The two rooms between which it is imperative to distinguish are the West Lounge and the East Lounge. I have lived more in LaFortune’s West Lounge than I have in my own dorm, and in my time there the rules have become apparent. The West Lounge, which is the main room, is a social space filled with wacky antics and oddly arranged, vaguely ugly furniture.

People often tell me that they have a rough night of work and cannot afford to indulge in the distractions of the West Lounge.

So they go to the East Lounge. The East Lounge, is traditionally quiet. Not arbitrarily so, but because LaFortune needs a silent space, and the great thinkers of Notre Dame culture have deemed East Lounge that place. Though the official policies of LaFortune have no such dictum, any student with a respect for Aristotle, Plato and Fr. Hesburgh knows that East Lounge is the location that our forefathers have given us to study in respectful silence. My comrades, I know that tradition is not wrought from iron, and that when necessary one must be able to alter it, but I see no adequate reason to drive away the students who have been enjoying their land, their lounge in silence, with your imperialist, impolite noise. My fellow PLSers, please, live according the rules of LaFortune. There is ample space for your conversation in other parts of LaFortune.

James Stein


Saint Edward’s Hall

Mar. 10