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Bad delivery of sad news

| Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I consider myself to be a pretty sentimental person. I like trying new things but I have a hard time letting go of the old ones, which is why I was upset when I first heard I would not be living in Walsh Hall next year.

The news was delivered in a University-wide email from the Division of Student Affairs. Next year, current residents of Pangborn Hall will move to the new women’s residence hall. Walsh residents will move to Pangborn for the year while Walsh undergoes extensive renovations.

I have since come to terms with this reality. I will be sad to leave Walsh Hall at the end of this year. I will miss its high ceilings, stellar views, bay windows and unbeatable location. However, my favorite part about Walsh is not the building itself, but its community.

Walsh needs these renovations — in fact, they are long overdue. In the past year, part of the ceiling in a resident’s private bathroom collapsed. Numerous sinks have backed up and flooded rooms. The heating units seem to be malfunctioning every other week.

I am happy and hopeful for the future of Walsh Hall. However, I was disappointed with the way this whole process was communicated to affected students.

One of our dorm’s mantras is “Walsh means family.” I have no doubt that we will maintain, and even strengthen, these family bonds throughout our move to Pangborn. However, we were told, without any prior warning, that our family would not be able to live in our home next year.

I wish the University had informed students of its housing plans as they were being developed. Students’ ideas and opinions may have been helpful. Instead of blindsiding people with this information, the University could have at least made the student body aware of the possible changes for planning purposes.

Many of my dormmates were enjoying an innocent Wednesday night dinner when they received texts and Snapchats about the news. Before even reading the novel sent out by Student Affairs, friends from other dorms were making jokes about the move via social media.

In today’s technological age, news travels quickly. I don’t think the University took this into consideration when it sent out its mass email. In my opinion, the University should have sent someone to deliver the news of the housing changes in person, before sending out the email. Walsh and Pangborn residents deserved to hear this news together, in their respective homes.

I will forever be grateful that I was randomly placed in Walsh Hall as a freshman at Notre Dame. In Walsh, I have formed friendships that I know will last long after graduation. Although I am sad this will be my last semester in Walsh, I am thankful that our beloved yellow-brick building will now certainly be around for many years to come.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, The Observer's former Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's an ex-Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

Contact Katie