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viewpoint

Thank you

| Wednesday, August 26, 2020

I write today to thank the ND administration for its collective herculean efforts to bring students back for a “live” fall semester despite initial challenges. I do so as an enthusiastic member of the Notre Dame family — I am a double Domer. My wife is a double Domer. My siblings are all Domers. Our three oldest children are Domers, and our baby is a freshman at Our Lady’s University. I am on campus every day, and I teach many of the outstanding young men and women who are reading this viewpoint. Some of the teaching is in person and some is now online.
This is indeed a challenging time in our world and our community, and it is important to work together in all matters and to have a positive attitude and to fully cooperate with the safety precautions that are designed to protect all of us in the Notre Dame community.
I have personally seen the tremendously hard work and diligent planning that has gone into coordinating new schedules, new class protocols, and new safety plans for faculty, staff and students. We, the Notre Dame family, are all fortunate to have superb planning to do all that can be done to minimize risk and to keep students and faculty safe and to take care of those who may become ill. That is what families do, and the Notre Dame family is no different.
In my own family, we naturally considered all that is transpiring around the world, country, state and county and decided that it was a good — no great — decision for our daughter to attend college on campus this fall. There are plenty of challenges and risks in daily life regardless of what we chose to do, and after gaining an understanding of ND’s thorough and detailed plan to keep students as safe as possible, it was a no-brainer. Of course this plan requires that students, faculty and staff work hard to comply with safety protocols — so please, ND family members, cooperate and make prudent decisions. We are all human and mistakes will be made, but if we are all committed to safety, our ND family can thrive.
So, thank you to all of the administrators and decision makers who worked so hard to make the fall semester a reality. And to the younger members of the Notre Dame family, please make good decisions and cooperate with the safety measures in place to ensure that we can all continue to live, work and learn together this fall. That is what family does — take care to ensure that other family members are not adversely impacted. I am proud of the ND family and in particular the leaders of the ND family.
Peace,
Jamie O’Brien
class of 1988 and 1993
Aug. 25

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

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