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Glynn Family Honors Lounge benefits students

Emma Russ | Thursday, September 8, 2011

On the third floor of O’Shaughnessy Hall there lies a little-known oasis of plush, comfortable furniture, free snacks and honors students galore — the Glynn Family Honors Lounge.

“The idea behind the Honors Lounge is to provide a forum for us to get together with other honors students and discuss intellectual topics,” sophomore honors student Sarah Cahalan said. “It’s community-based. We’re all buddies.”

Callie Merriam, another sophomore in the Glynn Family Honors Program, studies there about three times a week and enjoys the social aspect of the lounge.

“You start to see people from your classes that you don’t know very well, and you start talking to them,” she said. “It’s a great way for honors students to connect. I met a lot of people here my freshman year because freshmen in the Honors Program take most of their core classes together.”

The Honors Lounge is an especially convenient study space for honors students living off-campus, senior Elissa Cmunt said.

“As an off-campus honors student, the lounge is my base for when I’m on campus, a place I can sit down and do work or relax between classes,” she said. “It’s a quiet, comfortable place to study or meet with friends.”

One of the most coveted perks of the Honors Lounge is the free food.

“There is Panera Bread on Mondays and Wednesdays, and cookies on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week,” Merriam said, as she munched on a fresh-baked cookie, courtesy of the lounge. “A lot of students take advantage of the space, if not for the social and academic aspects, at least for the free food.”

While some people enjoy the perks of being an honors student, others who are not members of the Honors Program have slightly different reactions to the lounge.

“It’s kind of weird that they have their own lounge,” junior Kelly Deweese said. “It seems a little unfair to treat the honors kids differently than the rest of the students. Everyone here is smart and works hard, so why treat the honors kids like an elite class?”

Cmunt said she agrees that generally all Notre Dame students are bright, hard-working people.

“The spiel the Honors Program gives about being a part of it is ‘working with the best and brightest of Notre Dame students,'” she said. “But I’ve met so many incredibly intelligent students outside of the program that it’s clear that’s not the whole truth.”

Cmunt did, however, say her honors classes were quite challenging.

“What is true is that the honors classes have, by far, been some of the most challenging I’ve taken in my college career,” she said. “The lounge simply gives us a place to meet up and study for those classes.”