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viewpoint

Disappointment with Gateway housing decision

| Friday, October 8, 2021

When my daughter and I came to the Holy Cross and Notre Dame campuses this past April, we learned that her 9.0 Gateway class would be the first to not be guaranteed on-campus housing when they transferred as sophomores. I graduated from Notre Dame in 1994, and I have been bringing my daughter for girls’ football weekends since she was nine years old with my Howard girlfriends and their kids. I am overjoyed that she is here now, but the thought that she would miss out on the special experience of Notre Dame’s unique dorm life made me think that she should choose her other top choice for college over the Gateway program. It was conveyed by the Gateway program, unofficially of course, that this was being done to protect against the uncertainties of the recent pandemic and that housing would most likely come through; this reassurance led to her choosing the Gateway program. I have to wonder what changed in the past five to six months to cause Notre Dame to email the entire 9.0 Gateway class, without informing their advisers, to start looking for off campus housing for their sophomore year. My daughter and her friends were terribly disappointed upon learning this. I cannot help but find the fairly recent timing of the three year on-campus requirement to be so unfortunate. My daughter and her classmates have been counting the days until they can live on campus, while there are juniors who want to live off campus and are not being allowed. It would seem that the university could find a creative solution for these students, who have come together so joyfully following a high school senior year of isolation, and allow them to fully live the life of a Notre Dame student for their remaining three years. I had thought that Notre Dame’s adjustments to the COVID pandemic had served as an example to other universities. Perhaps a lottery for upcoming juniors wanting to live off campus could serve to accommodate this relatively small group of students who are so eager to join the campus community. Whatever happens, I have faith that they will continue to thrive, because, as they were told repeatedly through the Gateway decision process, they were chosen for a reason; having come to know some of them personally, I believe this to absolutely be true. They have come together in the most beautiful way, and this will not break them, but I know how much a real effort on the part of the university to find a solution would mean, not only to them and future Gateway students, but to me.

Dr. Kate Pastore

class of 1994

Oct. 3

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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