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Practice what you preach

Mara Walsh | Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ever since the announcement that Saint Mary’s students would be eligible for the National Championship ticket lottery, I have maintained a firm stance on the matter. However, like Sam Mitchell in his viewpoint “Tension Headache,” (Dec. 5) I am not going to use this article to complain or voice my opinion about the lottery. Rather, I felt the need to comment on some of the exaggerated and unfair assertions that Sam made in his letter.

            I was appalled to read some of Sam’s generalizations about Notre Dame women. Sam accuses female ND students of making nasty, mean-spirited comments about the women of Saint Mary’s. Full disclosure: I would be lying if I said that I have never made or heard a negative comment about our sister-school across the street. But through personal relationships that I have built with Saint Mary’s students, I have wised up and realized that stereotypes don’t do us any good, especially because SMC and Holy Cross students have consistently proven to be invaluable members of the Notre Dame community. I fully believe that most ND students share my sentiment on this matter.

            This is why I found Sam’s comments so upsetting. Sam takes an accusatory tone, pointing a finger at “particularly [ND’s] female students” for calling SMC girls “morons,” “promiscuous,” or “wannabes.”

             Right, because I’ve never heard an ND guy utter a negative word about Saint Mary’s girls. Or Notre Dame girls, for that matter.

            Furthermore, Sam’s “eye-rolling” and patronizing attitude towards Notre Dame women not only insults our intelligence, but also undermines the very sentiment he tries to address: That ND, SMC and Holy Cross students of all sexes need to respect each other as members of the same Notre Dame family, regardless of who gets tickets to a football game. Most of the ND students I know – both male and female – are loving, compassionate individuals. But if you are going to accuse the ND female population of making ignorant, derogatory remarks about SMC students, at least acknowledge that just as many men have likely made the same regrettable comments. By saying that women are at fault, Sam is perpetuating the same contempt he tried to argue against in the first place.

            I composed this letter not to ignite further debate about the ticket lottery or relations between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, but to attempt to put this petty arguing to rest. This year at Notre Dame has been truly special. Our football team has inspired us on and off the field, and in the process, has reminded us of the remarkable good that this community stands for. So instead of wasting our time stewing over viewpoint wars and dwelling on the things that divide us, let’s focus on the indescribable love that unites us within the Notre Dame family – whether we go to ND, SMC or Holy Cross.


And finally, Go Irish, Beat Bama!


Mara Walsh


Howard Hall

Dec. 5