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Opinion: Is Notre Dame renovating new dorms too quickly?

| Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In my previous columns, I’ve often stated that I am The Observer’s foremost administration correspondent and advocate, and even though it gets edited out every single time I write that, I feel it’s important to start my column today doing that as well.* Really, I should try and find some way to refer to it in every sentence in my column, so that editing it out would leave like 30 words total. Don’t get me wrong, it is not true, per se, but you know how if you just say something enough times then people start to just accept it?

However, that aside, I have long stated that the administration has never done anything wrong and, in fact, could do nothing wrong, forever. It’s a lot like papal infallibility only much stronger.

That being said, I have some concerns. A 2017 official campus report presented to on-campus officials (alright fine, it was my management group project) found that 70% of students open their windows in the winter to cool down their rooms and 47% have dealt with roaches. After some student complaints about things like bats in the residence halls, the administration has been ambitiously renovating approximately one or two halls per year. This is blistering. And scary.

Dillon Hall is currently getting a full-scale renovation, but I wonder whether future classes will truly experience what it was like to live in a dorm with some grit. Hard times create strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times create soft people. Soft people don’t go to Reckers.

And this cycle could possibly get even quicker. How fast could this renovating get, theoretically? Have you ever seen “Extreme Home Makeover?” If you haven’t, then wow, I feel bad because you missed out on one of the best reality TV shows of the millennium. The idea of the show was to completely knock down the house of some family who needed a new home and, in its place, build a mansion fit with perfectly designed rooms to match the family’s personalities. (The kids kind of got a raw deal in this one. I mean, yeah, the My Little Pony themed rooms must have been extremely awesome for those kids, but I feel like they might get a little tough at age 17.) And they would do this all in a week. It was incredible. So yeah, hire that crew back, and you could probably renovate South Quad in a couple fortnights.

And what about our on-campus bat population? Where do they live? As many of you know, it got really cold last year, and if not for Caroll Hall I would have been very nervous for our on-campus bat population. Losing them would be almost as bad as losing our squirrels. All I’m saying is that if you’d like to sit in Baumer and Flaherty and think, “This is awesome, and the living conditions here are really, really nice,” just know that there are downsides to it, too. Particularly for the bats.

At the end of the day, I fall back on what I know to be true forever: The administration knows best. I’m just concerned that the grit of four-and-eight football seasons and dorms without AC may be leaving campus. For prospective students, I would recommend flocking to the remaining dorms to experience this true Notre Dame experience. And if at all possible, grow up faster. By 2026 it may be too late.

*You’d think the whole “views expressed in this are just from the columnist and not necessarily the views of The Observer” thing would buy you some leeway, but here we are.


Danny McMaster is a senior business analytics major, and has never once been wrong in his entire life. He can be reached at [email protected] or @DanMcMaster14 on Twitter.

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

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