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



A controversial column

| Monday, November 7, 2022

An inside column can be many things: Funny, cliche, informational, emotional, controversial or otherwise. When I realized (a bit too late) that I had an inside column due this Sunday, I had a decision to make.  

I’ve already covered funny-ish when I told the campus that I was using Taylor Swift’s Red to recover from a break-up. And my last column was emotional, a detailed account of my mental health struggles and my journey to self-compassion — which I am still working on to this day. 

I decided I wanted to try my hand at a Ryan Peters-esque controversial column. Unlike Ryan’s tie to athletic endeavors (see: making physical education a requirement again and removing the last names off the football team’s jerseys), I don’t particularly care about the sports program outside of cheering on our teams at games. My love of sports lies in Wisconsin and the Packer’s horrible season, definitely not in the nuances of college football or gym class (which I did everything in my power to avoid as a high schooler). 

But nonetheless, throughout my time here, I too have collected a myriad of “unpopular” opinions. Are they horribly wrong and extremely unimportant? Probably, but I have a column to write and no other ideas. 

My top controversial Notre Dame-themed opinions (separated into sections in true Bella fashion)

1. Southwest salad >>> 

Starting off strong with my least unpopular opinion (I think). When I first got to campus in the year of our Lord 2020, one of the first stories I wrote was an update to the dining halls with the new COVID-19 regulations. During my interview, the administrators told me that one of their top priorities was bringing back the popular Southwest salad. Unbeknownst to me as a newbie to the tri-campus and to journalism, this salad would change my life.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I adore it. You can ask my friends, and I’m sure they will attest to the fact that I wholeheartedly love getting my Southwest salad every Thursday. I also gave a class presentation once about the powers of this mystical salad, embarrassing but true. Although I’ve been slacking lately, I know I can always count the NDH ladies for a great midweek pick up. 

2. Scooters are helpful if you know how to use them

All right, this one might be a little farfetched, but I am a sucker for convenience. In my sophomore year, I started doing undergraduate research in a biology lab that is located across the street in the Indiana School of Medicine (in the same building as the Harper Cancer Research Center). Very quickly, I realized that the 20+ minute walk in the South Bend winter was NOT IT. So, like a diligent daughter, I begged my father to buy me a fancy electric scooter like all the athletes have (does Notre Dame have a partnership with Go-Trax??). 

And though I definitely don’t look as cool as the football players, I can be seen scooting by whenever I have an over 5-minute walk or am running late (always). A caveat to this opinion is that I am a respectful scooter user, I promise. I only use the roads or unoccupied sidewalks and never zoom past people at 15+ mph, which is downright rude honestly.

3. North quad (and NDH) is supreme 

As a resident of the wonderful (if a tad problematic) Breen-Phillips Hall, I am a North Quad girlie through and through. 

I am already nostalgic about summer evenings when music blasts from speakers in either Zahm, Keenan or Stanford Halls, and everyone fills out the small lawn with blankets and outdoor games. I feel at home in NDH, which is a little tacky but can somehow always be counted on to be playing bops and bangers at dinner (and has debatably better food). I love that we have a great view of the Dome and short walks to almost anywhere you need to go (cue my one morning class in Geddes Hall!). 

Plus, we’re closer to the fire station for those 4 a.m. fire alarms … And after all, who can resist the beautiful women of Farley Hall? Certainly not Fr. Jenkins or me. 

4. The Observer is the best student group on campus

I detect no bias in that statement … But on a real note, my Notre Dame experience would not be what it is without the Observer. It’s been my home from the first week on campus, and I would consider my colleagues who work alongside me to be some of my closest friends. I’ll leave it there before I get too sentimental, but let’s both look forward to an amazing goodbye column in T-minus a year and a half. 

If you got all the way through this, thank you. I think this was a real bonding experience. Please send me your craziest Notre Dame (or otherwise) controversial opinions. I would love to debate or agree with you, possibly over a Southwest salad lunch?

Contact Bella at [email protected] (or by looking for the one person who doesn’t look athletic with a scooter).

The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Bella Laufenberg

Bella Laufenberg is a junior biological sciences major, who likes news much more than organic chemistry. She is also in the journalism, ethics and democracy minor. At The Observer, she currently serves as the Notre Dame News Editor.

Contact Bella