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Senior Week unites Notre Dame students through community-oriented events

| Friday, May 17, 2019

Senior Week 2019 brought together Notre Dame’s class of 2019 one last time to celebrate and remember the times they shared over the past four years.

Senior Week co-chair Lizzie Cameron said this year’s festivities deviated from traditional Senior Week events to focus more on the students. (Editor’s note: Lizzie Cameron is a former Viewpoint copy editor.)

“The goal of Senior Week is to celebrate our time here together and reflect on the incredible memories and relationships that we’ve made,” she said in an email. “Senior Week is so special in the way that it unites our class one last time on campus before graduation.”

The schedule for Senior Week was finalized mid-March, but planning for the week lasts all year, Cameron said. The week is planned by the Senior Week committee, which thinks about big picture things such as deciding which events to continue, as well as smaller details, such as choosing hors d’oeuvres for Commencement Ball.

Senior Week began with a class trip to a Chicago Cubs game Sunday and ended with one last trip to the Grotto on Thursday night. During the week, there were bowling and trivia nights, a class picnic and Commencement Ball. Most of these events stay the same from year to year, Cameron said.

“This year, we’re making the last trip to the Grotto more student-oriented, offering a chance for a student to read a personal reflection of their time at Notre Dame,” she said. “We transformed the class picnic into an outdoor brunch on the Ricci Fields where students can relax and play sand volleyball, cornhole and other outside activities. We are also making Domerfest 2.0 carnival themed, including fun food stands and a mechanical bull.”

Senior Andrea Rivera-Luna said she planned to attend Commencement Ball, the last trip to the Grotto and the class picnic. Rivera-Luna said she chose these events primarily because she knew a lot of people who were also going to them, so it would be a good chance to spend time with all her classmates one last time.

“It seems like a lot of people tend to go to Commencement Ball,” she said. “It’s one last dance and an excuse to dress nice. The picnic was also because I knew a bunch of friends that were going so I figured, ‘Why not?’ and it wasn’t that much money or anything. And the Grotto, because the Grotto is really special and it’s the last time with the class, even if I haven’t met all of them.”

Senior Andrea Desilets said she would also attend Commencement Ball and possibly attend a few other Senior Week events. Mostly, she said she looked forward to using the week to relax and spend time with friends.

“They have so many events that no matter what else is going on during the week, the seniors will be able to find something to do,” Desilets said. “I’m looking forward to just enjoying being here without the stress of everything. I’m reaping the rewards of everything that I’ve done for the last four year. It’s been stressful but fun, and now I get to enjoy it with my friends and family.”

However, Commencement Ball can be costly for some students. According to the online Senior Week schedule, tickets for the ball cost $38 in advance and $50 at the door.

“Commencement Ball is by far the most attended [event], and that one was the most expensive, and I think that’s kind of doing us dirty,” Rivera-Luna said.

However, Cameron said, the Office of Student Enrichment is able to make all Senior Week events affordable.

“We also worked hard throughout the year budgeting and securing funding to keep the costs as low as possible,” she said.

Regardless of which events the seniors chose to attend, Senior Week is one of the last chances most of the seniors will have to experience life on campus as a student, Desilets said.

“I’m sure it’s going to be bittersweet,” she said. “It’s hard to accept because I’ve been here for so long, and it’s weird to think that the life I’ve had here — I’ll be leaving, and I won’t be here anymore. I definitely think that I will want to enjoy every second of it.”

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