The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



The 14th floor

| Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The button does not light up. I may press it again and again, and it does not light up. The LCD monitors on the elevators don’t even have an option for going where I want to go. It’s a location that students are naturally forbidden to enter: the 14th floor. 

Has anyone noticed how the Hesburgh Library elevators are the only ones on campus that have security cameras? Really, security cameras in the elevators of the library? Are there not more obscure and necessary locations in the library to place security camera? What is being protected here?

Is it a telescope that has the power to break through the intense cloud system that forms over our University to see the stars during the eternal winter months? Are there binoculars strong enough to view the Chicago skyline from one of the tallest points in Northern Indiana that offer a glimpse of the closest metropolis to our University? Maybe trees whose leaves never fall grow up there. Maybe there is a secret portal to another dimension, or maybe there is a diving board that is placed there only in the summer months for people to dive into the pool below OR maybe Touchdown Jesus is not raising his arms toward Heaven… maybe they are being raised toward the 14th floor, since it’s so heavenly up there. This also fits well with the idea of a secret helicopter landing pad, where “the Dove,” the University’s official helicopter, lands only during summer and winter breaks. 

Even First Down Moses has his index finger pointed to the secrets held up above. They’ve led us to believe that these are football-inspired tropes. Instead, the clues are all there, and like Moses, they are all pointing up to the 14th floor. We’ve got it all wrong.

I’ve also heard rumors that there is a terrace — yes, that’s right (I also had to hold my breath in when I heard this.) My suspicion is there is more than meets the word. “Terrace” is a very innocent name that would never make anyone circumspect. Mind you, I never believed how much surveillance and protection were required by terraces. Did you?

Something’s up there. I mean look at this: Our University was founded in 1842. Check this out: (1 x 8) + (4 + 2) = 8 + 6 = 14. Can we truly believe this is just a coincidence? 

I remember earlier in the year there was a special event being held on the 14th floor. Security officials monitored the entrances to the elevators to ensure only select individuals could enter. THIS, on the other hand, does make me circumspect.

I call upon the University of Notre Dame to release all-student access to the 14th floor. There will be a massive demonstration on November 19 starting at 2 p.m. (14:00 in military time – pun intended), in which students will pack all elevators of Hesburgh Library for one complete hour. We apologize ahead of time for the inconvenience, but these restrictions call for absolutely necessary intervention by the student body. We will take the 14th floor by force if need be. 

We do it because we want to use the telescope. We want to use the binoculars. We want to see “the Dove.” 

Matias is pursuing his M.A. in Italian Studies, loves satire, and likes to come up with conspiracy theories — like the major news networks — in his free time. You can email him at [email protected] for any favorable comments or if you need help learning Italian. 

Matias Sur

M.A. student
Nov. 11

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

Tags: , ,

About Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor can be submitted by all members of the Notre Dame community. To submit a letter to the Viewpoint Editor, email [email protected]

Contact Letter