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Petition for a hot tub on campus

| Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The University of Notre Dame has a lot of things. We have 8,624 undergraduates, we have an endowment of just over $10 billion, we have 11 football national championships and we have a main building with a dome that is covered in 23.9-karat gold leaf. We have all of those things and many more, but there is still one thing the University of Notre Dame desperately needs — a hot tub that is easily accessible by undergraduate and graduate students.

When I applied to colleges my senior year of high school, I assumed that I was applying to colleges with easily accessible hot tubs. I had been on college visits and in each of their fitness centers they had saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs available to anyone who so desired to use them. On my college visit to Notre Dame, I went into the “Rock” and upon seeing a pool, I assumed that there was a hot tub. Maybe I’m wrong — I am by no means a hot tub expert — but from what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard, Notre Dame is the exception in the nation-wide trend of universities having hot tubs for their students.

I am aware that hot tubs do exist on Notre Dame’s campus. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the dive team has a hot tub at their disposal, that the football team has a hot tub in one of their many facilities and that other sports teams may have access to one. And yes, non-athlete undergraduate and graduate students technically could use these hot tubs if they knew the right people. The issue, however, is that the majority of us non-athletes do not know the “right” people.

Most non-athlete students are expected by the University to spend nine months of the year for four years never submerged in hot water. Not a single residence hall on campus, to my knowledge, contains a bath that could fulfill that need; the pools at both the Knute Rockne Memorial Gymnasium and the Rolfs Aquatic Center stay at relatively mild temperatures; and the two lakes that grace our campus are the opposite of the hot springs we wish they were. We need a hot tub (or maybe even multiple hot tubs) to fill that void. Heat is essential to the human body’s survival, and at the moment Notre Dame students just aren’t getting enough of it.

It’s not an overly ambitious dream. I am not asking for a new, wildly expensive student center to be built adjacent to the football stadium — I am asking for a single, easily accessible hot tub. Hot tub prices range from $500 to $5,000 dollars online — peanuts to the $10 billion endowment that hangs over our heads.

According to U.S. News’ recently released “Best College” rankings for 2018, the University of Notre Dame has done something wrong to deserve the drop we were granted by them. Maybe, however, the University didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe they were just missing something — missing a hot tub. A hot tub that should be installed before I graduate (please).

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

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