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The Conlon/O’Brien ticket for off-campus students

| Friday, August 28, 2020

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for young people to venture out from their familiar surroundings into the great unknown, to assume responsibility for themselves, it is necessary for them to retain their rights after their departure from the protective wings of their former guardian. The decision to leave campus requires the flower of the Irish youth to withdraw from Notre Dame’s unparalleled dorm culture, deep friendships and unique experiences (often without AC) that define students’ initial years at Our Lady’s University. Leaving this home away from home is stressful enough without the University punishing those who make this decision with alienating policies. I can only imagine how many of you off-campus students feel like Princess Leia right now, at the edge of an ailing revolution, looking for your Obi-Wan to save you. Fortunately, Brian Conlon and Brennan O’Brien both bear passing resemblances to Sir Alec Guinness, so we can be your only hope. Our campaign for Off-Campus President and Vice-President aims to push for more favorable representation for off-campus students in all relations with the University and student government alike. Despite what the University may lead you to believe, we are Notre Dame students just like everybody else.  We have rights. This ticket has several actionable policies we intend on immediately fighting to implement upon our election.

The Conlon/O’Brien ticket intends to first and foremost reaffirm the rights of off-campus students. Specifically, we aim to secure a portion of the money off-campus students spent on dining hall meal plans, considering we are currently banned from campus and unable to use these plans. We will fight for all of us to gain swipe access to our former dorms. How can we be part of the communities we helped build if we are denied access to the very buildings that helped form the foundation of our Notre Dame experience? If we are not given this access, perhaps we should improve our own community. We are currently considering building a rival to the Hesburgh Library above Nick’s Patio.  In terms of communication, we propose creating a giant Google Doc for the entire off-campus community to share ideas in. We recognize that many of us had too many interactions with, or dare I say were bullied by, University officials for two or three long years.  We will fight to keep University officials as far away from your off-campus properties and institutions as we can. That means a reduction of (and ideally an elimination of) Here ambassadors or other forms university influence on off-campus life.  We believe this interference surpasses the due diligence required of the University to protect its students and ventures into the dangerous area of Orwellian control. Additionally we aim to end the misperception that the spike of cases was solely brought on by the off campus community. We love our university, and the vast majority of us have taken this crisis very seriously. Perhaps it was no coincidence we chose our slogan, “Defeat cringe. Embrace vibe.” We absolutely intend on opposing the cringefest that was often seen on campus and embracing the superb vibe that is signatory of off-campus life.  We will use our aforementioned policies to secure our rights and our vibe this academic year. Despite the strength of our campaign ideas, believe it or not, we won’t be thinking about these policies on election day. We’ll be thinking of the extraordinary members of the ND community that can be found here off-campus. We’ll think of that perfect fall evening when the sounds of ping-pong balls bouncing into cups, dice being tossed and laughter emanate through the air. We’ll think of where our community’s glory begins and ends, like Yates wrote, and say our glory was we had such friends.

Brennan O’Brien

junior

Brian Conlon

senior

Aug. 26

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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