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Saint Mary’s promotes community with Fifth Quarter and Overtime events

| Friday, January 22, 2016

After Notre Dame’s loyal sons have marched onward to victory, the odds are great Saint Mary’s Fifth Quarter and Overtime initiatives, which take place after home football and basketball games, will promote community bonding. This semester’s first Overtime event, in which students can decorate coffee cup sleeves, will take place Saturday at 9 p.m. in Rice Commons.

smc-graphic_webJanice Chung | The Observer

Junior Morgan Dahnke said she helps to coordinate these events, which usually consist of a snack and activity, because she wants to ensure students have an alternative to participating in the party scene.

“We want girls to realize that there is more to do than just going out and partying,” Dahnke said. “Saint Mary’s has more to offer, and we want them to see that. We also want to provide a safe and inclusive place for girls to go to when they may not feel comfortable going elsewhere.”

Dahnke said last semester’s Fifth Quarter series appealed to a variety of students because it featured a range of six activities, such as a glow party and a do-it-yourself spa night. This spring’s four Overtime events, which include a Mardi Gras party and a casino night, also aim to engage as many participants as possible, she said.

“They really encourage students to come together and spend time in a safe and positive environment,” Dahnke said. “Saint Mary’s is such a special place to be, and Fifth Quarter makes it even better.”

Dahnke said planning the Fifth Quarter and Overtime series has taught her the importance of helping all residents to feel comfortable while at Saint Mary’s.

“My hope is that students will not feel as pressured to give in to the alcohol culture on college campuses if they have something else to do,” Dahnke said. “Saint Mary’s is unique because it provides opportunities for its students to grow as a community and feel safe while on campus, which is primarily what the goal of Fifth quarter is. Saint Mary’s truly cares.”

Senior Natalie Hartman, who collaborates with Dahnke to host these events, said students appreciate the opportunity to interact with their peers during Fifth Quarter and Overtime.

“If they want something to do that’s inside their comfort zone, this is it,” Hartman said. “It’s a great way to do something different with your friends or to just get to know people that you don’t know very well.”

Hartman said Saint Mary’s fosters an inclusive community, as evidenced by the Fifth Quarter and Overtime efforts.

“There are so many different kinds of girls here, which is awesome. It’s nice to provide a way for the community to get together,” she said.

Director of student involvement Brittany House said she works alongside Dahnke and Hartman to plan these events because she wants to promote community while involving students in these low-commitment, free activities.

“Anytime that students are connected to peers, they’re going to have a better college experience,” House said. “We want to have stuff for students to do, especially given what the weather looks like outside right now.”

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

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