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What about the men’s spirit wear?

| Thursday, February 6, 2014

In my four years at Notre Dame, I have come close to writing in to The Observer multiple times. Several things around campus have either “irked” me or have elicited praise. But finally, as a senior, something has finally pushed me over the edge: 2014’s spirit wear.
I have good things to say about spirit wear — especially about the 2012 green and gold, Joe Montana-era football jersey. If allowed, I would have bought three of those — not only because I liked the look, but because they were reasonably priced. This year, however, I feel that the focus group in charge of spirit wear has completely missed their mark. This year’s edition — a rugby polo reminiscent of those you will find in a female dorm’s catalogue or a major college sorority — fails to attract a majority of campus. Every male student I have talked to is not only turned off by the price of the rugby polos (one for $45, two for $80), but by the very style of the shirt of well. Even my female friends are appalled by the price, as well as some of the color schemes. As seniors, we believe that our spirit wear should be more unisexual and affordable than the current 2014 version.
As we speak, this year’s edition of spirit wear most accurately represents what my sister is paying for during her freshman year at the University of Illinois: a piece of clothing that separates a group of girls from the rest of the gender on campus. What spirit wear should represent is a medium through which seniors can show pride in their graduating class in a more affordable fashion than a class ring. The class ring is a recognizable tradition that has lasted generations at Notre Dame, but is still a tradition that is not a financial reality for all students. It was not affordable for my father in ’83, nor is it for my twin brother and myself in ’14.
This year’s senior class has been hoping for apparel that separates them from every other graduating class in Notre Dame’s history. We — especially the male and the less financially privileged — have not receive an acceptable option in 2014.

Dan O’Brien
Feb. 7


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