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viewpoint

To my fellow Smicks

| Monday, April 19, 2021

“We want to echo the sentiments of other Saint Mary’s organizations and say we are incredibly proud to be Smicks. Our sisterhood and bond is just as powerful as each and every student at this institution. We will not stand for the slander and disgusting language used against Saint Mary’s students. Smicks are strong, they are smart and they are here because they can (and will) change the world.”

This was a statement I wrote late the night of April 15th after reaching a boiling point in frustration regarding the recent Observer article. As president of Feminists United here on campus, I knew I owed our members a response, but was struggling to collect the sheer number of reactions I had into a cohesive statement. As sad as it is, when I was first hearing whispers about a new article that featured Notre Dame students speaking ill of Belles, I was less than surprised. Having attended Saint Mary’s for four years, I have experienced my fair share of side comments about me “settling” for a Saint Mary’s education, how this must have been my safety school, how soon enough I would wish to transfer to Notre Dame, how I needed to spend these four years finding a husband, the list goes on and on.

This is not a unique experience, I have yet to meet a Saint Mary’s student who has not endured some kind of derogatory remark based on their choice to attend this school. Being a Smick is something that I have treasured, it is an honor achieved not only by me but by my mother, my sisters and a few other extended family members. Saint Mary’s has been my second home long before I got to exist on this campus as a student. I was raised in the values of Saint Mary’s — to be a strong and unapologetic force of nature, to own my identity as a woman and to never let someone speak ill of me or talk down to me because of who I am.

Each and every Saint Mary’s student has the power to change the world, and I am confident we all will in some way or another. We are so much more than the abhorrent language used to describe us by those Notre Dame students. Smicks are a force to be reckoned with, they are a myriad of identities and experiences who come together to forge this incredible and eternal sisterhood. I did not come to Saint Mary’s to find a husband or because I wasn’t “good enough” to cut it at Notre Dame. In my time here I have met incredible people who have become my sisters, I have learned about the world and my place in it, I have been given the tools to grow as an individual and a student, but most importantly I have relished every moment I have spent with my fellow Smicks. Each and every one of you is an inspiration, you are wonderful and talented individuals who make this world a better place and who have pushed me to be a better version of myself each and every day. I am, and always will be, incredibly proud to be a Smick, being here has changed my life and I know I will forever cherish my four years on this campus. Remember — Smicks are strong as hell, you all have the power to change the world, and do not ever let anyone make you feel any less than you are.

Grace Maher

president of Feminists United, senior

April 16

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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