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If a dorm was a city

| Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In a way, each of our unique communities are like small urban areas including compact living, support systems and living conditions deemed dubious by first-world inhabitants. I tried to determine how each dorm represents a city as grouped by area of the campus. Although the dorms are close, the cities are nowhere near.


South Quad

Dillon as New York City; Alumni as Rome; Fisher as Amsterdam; Lyons as St. Louis; Morrissey as Detroit; Howard as Harare; Badin as Cape Town.

When I think of Dillon Hall, I think of the center of Notre Dame, a city that all alumni recognize and one that embodies Notre Dame in a way. Although New York is Western culture-focused, it still satisfies this known beacon. Although it has issues, it is everything but irrelevant with pride attached. Its brother dorm, Rome, carries on this relevancy piece continued with storied traditions like the real Eternal City. Although Alumni is not particularly more Catholic than other dorms, I felt Rome had to make an appearance in this list regardless. Filling out the southern part of South Quad is Fisher, whose aquatic theme makes them a perfect fit with Amsterdam. Add this to the fact that they pride themselves as a fun dorm and single males seem to love the entity, it becomes even more fitting.

Moving across the quad we have Lyons, which I know really nothing about except its arch. Therein lies the St. Louis comparison. Next to them is Morrissey, a dorm that may have its issues but is rebuilding (literally and figuratively) like the city that once was bankrupt. Howard and its rector’s dog reminds me of the wild animals that often roam the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, but also it’s truly significant without people actually recognizing them correctly. Badin is Cape Town because it once was storied yet still dilapidated until considerable infrastructure projects turned it into a global city.


North Quad

Zahm as Rio de Janeiro; Cavanaugh as Cincinnati; Stanford as Oakland, Calif.; Keenan as San Francisco; Farley as Chicago; Breen-Phillips as Kansas City, Mo.

Zahm, although infamous, is still known for its ability to have fun. This is a description equally apt to the Brazilian city known for its beautiful beaches and parties next to some less desirable aspects. Next to them comes Cavanaugh, a dorm not particularly bad as I may have thought before, but not necessarily a destination. A nice middle-ground of a dorm where people can be content like the nice Cincinnati area. Stanford and Keenan are like the pair of twin cities. Keenan, like San Francisco, may be the first thought of while its brother Stanford may not appear as desirable, but both contain their goods and bads. One could also make the argument that The Revue is kind of like gentrification. I don’t know how, but someone probably could.

Farley is a standard dorm to me, nothing striking but still encompassing that unique Notre Dame feel that the third-largest city in the United States still contains. I had the most trouble coming up with BP’s, but Kansas City has good pork barbecue and BP is the Babes, so that’s all I got. If you have a better suggestion, let me know.


Mod/East Quad

Pasquerilla West as Tehran; Pasquerilla East as Santiago; Siegfried as Boston; Knott as Calgary; Dunne as Dubai; Flaherty as Riyadh.

Many do not really know much of the Iranian capital of Tehran but have a general sense of unease toward it, like they do toward PW. These are misplaced thoughts, though. Tehran is home to amazing natural beauty, friendly citizens and is less strict than many people may think. Scratch the natural beauty, and you basically have PW. Its neighbor to the east represents the South American metropolis of Santiago as a fairly new city in the global economy, but still left with so-so infrastructure. Knott represents a city everyone has heard of but no one knows an actual fact about, and I give Siegfried the distinction of Bean Town because of its diehard love of sports teams. Dunne and Flaherty represent a pair of new-money Middle Eastern cities, with the former actually being an attractive tourist destination for world travelers while the latter comes with more hesitation.


West Quad

Ryan as Monaco; Welsh Family as Tokyo; McGlinn as Beijing; Keough as Mumbai; O’Neill as Bangkok; Duncan as Singapore.

These dorms are characterized by wealthier cities, starting with maybe the wealthiest city-state (per capita) of Monaco. Luxury adorns the walls of both Monaco and Ryan, bringing their residents a tad bit of pride. Welsh Family recently has become one of the largest dorms in the University, so it represents a newer city with the most residents in Tokyo, with McGlinn and Beijing following the same logic. Keough, with its surplus of people, still does not really register much on a campus-wide scale, similarly to how Mumbai does not get much press despite its enormous population. Like its brother dorm, O’Neill also represents a large Asian city, but with a few more shenanigans involved. Lastly, Duncan represents the richness and new development of a city-state combined with the isolation of a completely different blueprint as other cities in its area.


God Quad and others

Walsh as Paris; Sorin as London; St. Edward’s as Mexico City; Lewis as Seoul; Carroll as Wellington

Walsh and Sorin, two historic dorms that may have been enemies at one point but coexist better than almost any other. They are staples of Notre Dame that were present as the University grew into the one we know today, much in the same way London and Paris have been pillars of culture as society has grown into what we know. St. Edward’s is as historical, if not more so than any other dorm at Notre Dame, but for some reason is not recognized as such, similar to Mexico City’s rich history dating back to the Aztec Empire. The lakes and water surrounding the area also fit in with the yacht dance theme nicely. Lewis, as one of the most massive dorms built with relatively modern materials, harkens to the Korean city that is the third-largest city in the world. Lastly, Carroll, isolated from everywhere else but still dotted with amazing natural beauty, finds its place as the New Zealand capital.


Bonus: Old College as Jerusalem for purely religious purposes.

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

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