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Have some respect

Maddie Baker | Sunday, November 6, 2011

To my fellow Notre Dame students,

As I’m well into my senior year, I’ve had some time to come to this realization: I am sick of hearing Notre Dame students complain about townies. It seems like every weekend it’s the same thing: “Yeah, the Backer would’ve been fun if it wasn’t so packed with townies.”

Come on people, are we really so pretentious and self-important that we can’t grant the people of South Bend basic respect?

Those of you who know me understand my bias: I am a proud Hoosier and my mother, most of my extended family, my boyfriend and some of my friends are “townies.” Yes, I am offended by the common use of a term that, whether intentional or not, is derogatory. After all, those same “townies” drive your cabs, make your food, clean your dorms and teach your classes. For people who do so much to help us, you’d think our student body would be a little more grateful. The rampart arrogance on this campus is, to be frank, embarrassing.

As much as Notre Dame is an integral part of the South Bend community and economy, the people of South Bend are by no means here because of us or to serve us. And when it comes to local bars, look at it this way: the bars were here before us and they will be here after we’re gone, just as South Bend will be. These establishments are not “ours,” and after four months of working in one, I know from experience that Notre Dame students are some of the worst tippers.

I’m not suggesting that every Notre Dame student is pompous and over-privileged, and I’d be lying if I said I have never wished I was seeing a higher friend to unknown-older-man ratio on any given night at Mulligan’s, but my point is simple. We, as students of the University of Notre Dame, are no better than anyone else, including the residents of South Bend, who deserve the same respect we grant to members of our campus community.

Maddie Baker


off campus

Nov. 4