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On the housing requirement

| Thursday, September 14, 2017

Late Summer, 2016

Xavier: “So, Joe, are you looking forward to going back up to Notre Dame in a couple of weeks? I know we’re gonna have a ball down at UC.”

Joe: “Definitely. Freshman year was really awesome, but I’ve heard sophomore is even better. This summer was great, but I can’t wait to get back.”

X: “Oh I definitely feel ya. Me and all the guys down at Cincy got a house on Flora Street — it’s gonna be 10 times better being forced into the dorms, plus it’s cheaper and everything. Where are you and your friends up there living?”

J: “Actually, I’ll be back in St. Edward’s Hall (or Steds), on campus again.”

X: “You guys have to stay on for two years too? Bummer, I know Miami does the same thing and they all hate it.”

J: “Okay, this is gonna sound weird to you, but hear me out. So there’s about 8,000 undergrads at Notre Dame, which is smaller than some people realize, but there’s like 30 dorms on campus. So basically, each dorm is really small compared to what you’ve probably seen, somewhere between 150 to 300 in each. At the start of freshman year, everyone is randomly assigned to a dorm. After the first year is over, you can switch to another dorm or move off campus or whatever you want, but nearly everyone stays in the dorm they were originally assigned, because that’s where they like made most of their friends on campus, you know?

“Each dorm has all their own sports teams and signature events and stuff too. Remember this fall when I had that Insta post of me playing fully-padded football again? At Notre Dame, the flagship recsports aren’t just intramural but interhall, and the Steds interhall team had an amazing year. They’ve got interhall sports for everything, from like football to dodgeball to hockey, and it’s all so much fun.

“We also all have our own dances, like how frats have their formals or whatever. Steds does Yacht Dance in Chicago in the spring, which is like the Ferrari of formals, and in the fall we have like a casual dance with a ridiculous theme called SYR — you should’ve seen what I wore to it this past year.

“Remember that mullets stuff I posted on Facebook in February? That’s the big charity we support in Steds. Each year we forcibly encourage everyone to grow out their hair for mullets, then get people to donate money in exchange for us keeping the hairstyle for longer, and we donate everything to Malaria efforts. The week caps off with a huge 80s-themed bash at Steds house, and — oh yeah, I didn’t even tell you about houses!

“Basically every dorm has their own unofficial house off campus, made up of upperclassmen who used to live in the dorm, and they’ll invite the underclassmen over all the time for all kinds of stuff.  The houses are basically the social hubs at ND — like each weekend we’ll be hanging out in the dorm and it’ll be like ‘Oh Duncan house is a thing tonight.’ You get the idea.  All the guys who live out there are still pretty involved in the dorm too, like they play on Steds sports and go to our big events and everything.

“Sorry, I’m probably boring you. I know it sounds weird to someone from elsewhere, but rather than being a pain, our dorms are honestly one of the best things about Notre Dame. Like if someone moves off after freshman year, people are like, ‘Oh they must have not really made friends’, as opposed to the other way around.”

X: “No that legit sounds sweet. I know when I came up to visit you, I was really surprised how many people seemed to be friends that we saw, but that makes a lot of sense now. I honestly kinda wish Cincy had something like that.”

Late Summer, 2019

Nick: “So where you living this year, Sam? We all got a house down at Cincy — I’m so hyped for this year.”

Sam: “Actually, I’m living in the dorms again like last year.”

N: “Oh you guys have to stay on too? I was talking to the Miami guys, and they said they can’t stand it.”

Sam: “Yeah.”

Joe Trzaska


The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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