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Antique shopping

I think New Year’s resolutions are cheesy and insincere, but I sometimes make them halfway through the year. Two years ago, I made a resolution to write more and share my writing more. Needless to say, that’s a paradox I’m still working out. 

At the moment, it looks a little something like this: sentences scrawled on scraps of paper given to friends, sealed letters that sit on my desk awaiting some sudden burst of courage and journals bursting at the seams. 

Those who write for The Observer or any similar platform know the tension I’m describing. It is really quite something — relinquishing control of your words. But then again, what good can they do locked up in the dusty exhibits of your own brain?

I don’t have many answers. But occasionally, I have a compulsion to let them go, brazenly unafraid of the consequences. Here’s my latest attempt, inspired by a visit to an antique store with my childhood best friend. 

We arrived at the whimsical warehouse of forgotten stories around 4 p.m. The antique store smelled like mothballs and wet drafts, but anything can be romanticized.

There’s something substantial about a pair of jeans from the 80s, the way they’ve held up far better than my ratty jeggings from 2016. It’s real — the denim. It couldn’t last so well if it wasn’t. After weathering so much, I won’t worry if they can withstand the tailgate lots. Besides that, there’s the pride of discovery. I privately hope someone compliments the new pair, so I can chirp back: “I found them at an antique store.” That all makes $35 seem like a real bargain. 

Eager for a fresh set of displays, Britton and I wander upstairs. She finds a picture window that lights her up like the break of day. She points out antique roll-down maps and school supplies. 

“No, but why is this literally from our aging second grade classroom in St. Mark?” Britton asks with a chuckle.

The school closed in 2015, so it really would make sense. Liquidation sale.

I think we could learn a lot if we took one item and tracked its life. Sometimes I wish the old grandfather clock could talk. Or that roll-down map. It sure would know a lot about us, if it really is the same one.

In the next warehouse over, Britton sets her eye on a bowl of dainty rings, her very own diamond in the rough. As to how she found them, my reason ponders: stumped.

Britton patiently listens to me fawn over this and that, making delusional statements about how I want something in my future house despite the fact that I can’t afford a studio apartment. 

We share a sympathy for vintage dresses, agreeing that many of the cuts are far more flattering than today’s. In gowns, I gravitate toward the 40s. Britton prefers 80s or 90s. Either way, there’s a mutual respect.

Eventually we wander over a split to the south side of the building. Still more labyrinthine caverns await, and we haven’t even been upstairs.

“It would be so easy to get lost in here,” Britton remarks. “I bet they take a while to close and clear out all the corridors.”

While she speaks observantly, I too am lost in thought, pretending to be Tom Sawyer rascal-ing around dim caves. Britton and I read that book together for class — twice, because of the school closure.

I grow distracted by a box of old postcards. I like to search for places I know — and for handwritten notes. Deciphering the cursive is a spy puzzle in itself, but I’m single-focused. I can’t bear the thought of a story going to waste. 

Frantically, I try to breathe life into each, reviving the twists and turns in my own imagination. I found one letter from 1908 sent to Rockford, Michigan from New York. A simple message from a man to a woman, thanking her for agreeing to exchange letters. I wonder how they’d feel knowing I’d be a future third pen pal. I add it to my armful of loot, hoping it can be a subtle reminder of what might be out there beyond snapchats asking for nudes. 

I’ve lost Britton, but we somehow quickly reunite. The maze is thick, but our ties thicker. Settling on another colorful three-walled room, Britton begins executing a vision of prints for her wall. I stand there nearly squealing out of shared excitement. I’ve grown a bit louder now that the shop has fewer patrons.

“Tape stuff to the wall! Tape stuff to the wall!” I chant, thinking of my own collection back in South Bend.

Once she’s finished the task, I drift over to skim titles on a bookshelf. I pause to look around the now eerily empty shop. I’ve just now realized there’s not a window in sight, there hasn’t been the whole time.

Gasping with surprise, I gravitate toward a cloth-bound hardcover “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the title gilded with shimmery foil and running down its spine.

“I call myself a Hemingway fan, and I’ve never even read this.” I say, grabbing it to my chest.

Britton is the first to notice that a light has gone dark in our shadows.

“I think it’s 6 p.m.,” she says.

Closing time.

I glance backward. Where we stood 20 minutes ago is now pitch black. Neither one of us has to say a word. We’re speed walking to the checkout, but first, we must pass an LED-lit closet housing dozens of old china dolls. Their beady eyes laser through my skull, evoking an involuntary groan of fear and disgust. I stifle it as if they might hear it.

For someone with an (irrational?) fear of hauntings and curses, I sure do forget that in antique stores. I want everything to have profound significance, but only the good kind. All memories and meaning with none of the omens.

We taste a bit of relief upon rounding the corner to find the cash register, a kind of island floating in the moat between the store’s halves. Only the counter is deserted and the front door deadbolted. 

Abandoning my collection, I urgently unlock the door, holding it firmly open with one arm — our escape route. 

Putting on a brave face, one foot still out the door, I call out: “Hello?”

Four more times with extra calls from Britton. Our shouts are greeted only by a slow creak sounding from upstairs. Even the antique service bell yields no results. I’m not superstitious, but in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have risked summoning something. 

Even though we both long to buy our discoveries — Britton her curated collage and me my century-old postcard, we quickly change our minds. The store is dark now but for one light hanging above the register. The slate-colored skies pour cold sleet out on the street outside, but the night has never seemed so comforting.

We don’t think for a second about stealing our collections, easy as it would be. We drop them on the counter and fully fling open the heavy door. 

“Actually,” I stubbornly say, “I want that tiny key.”

Remembering the price tag, I reach into my pocket for two quarters and drop them on the desk with a clip clop.

I don’t need the things; I just want the stories. 

And some people say life is nothing like a novel.

Contact Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu.

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

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Ask the Observer: How do the Basilica bells work?

Behind a stained glass window, a narrow wooden staircase inside the walls of the Basilica winds up to 24 bronze bells that send chimes echoing across campus every 15 minutes.

The largest bell, named in honor of St. Anthony, weighs eight tons and stands seven feet tall. In 1867, the bell arrived in South Bend via train, traversing the Erie Canal and the Atlantic Ocean along its journey. The bell was made by Bollee and Sons in Le Mans, France — the same city that produced the Basilica’s stained glass windows.

Third chime’s the charm: St. Anthonys rocky beginnings

Just as the St. Anthony bell was completing its journey, a taxpayer protested to prevent the University from bringing the bell across the wooden train bridge to cross St. Joseph River. The bell sat idle in South Bend for a year until the University constructed a raft to float all eight tons across the river.

Much like the University’s famous Golden Dome, which rose from the ashes of a smaller Main Building, the St. Anthony Bell boasts an origin story of perseverance. 

The previous two bourdons, the largest and lowest-toned bells in the carillon, weighed in at around 3,000 pounds. The first fell down during a windstorm, along with its bell tower. The second bell also fell and cracked. The one that hangs in the Basilica today is the third bourdon to ring on campus. 

When the second bell cracked, Fr. Edward Sorin and Fr. Patrick Dillon, the second University president, launched a bold campaign to purchase a bell far larger than the previous ones, about four times heavier than the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

“That’s how they got it paid for. They said, ‘We’re going to bring in the biggest bell in all of North America, and you get your name on it if you donate.’ So that’s how they got people excited about it.” Katie Pelster, Basilica tour coordinator, said. 

Donors’ names remain engraved on the bell today, along with the year it was made and the founder, Bollee and Sons. Those who climb the staircase to tour the belltower leave a similar mark inside the Carillon room, writing their names and class years on its wood beams in black Sharpie.

From grounded to towering

When the St. Anthony bell first arrived on campus, the bell tower was not yet complete, so they placed it in a wooden belfry outside. 

“Whenever they were ringing it, they had this goal that they would make the bell hit the sides of the barn that it was in, and that’s what they considered a good ring,” Pelster said.

When rung to these standards, the chime could be heard for a roughly 27-mile radius, reaching Elkhart and Niles. Today, the sound stops sooner due to a difference in ringing method and modern traffic.

After finally arriving on campus, St. Anthony’s journey was not yet complete. The bell had travelled thousands of miles west, but one direction remained unconquered — up.

The University had to hoist the bell up a bell tower that is more than 100 feet tall without the aid of modern construction equipment. Only horses, pulleys and hours of human labor were used to lift it.

“It is a wonder that it made its way all the way from France to here. It is just massive. It is big and heavy,” current University sacristan John Zack said.

Still ringing

While St. Anthony’s ring might not travel miles anymore, the pounding still has impressive volume, especially for those who have been in the tower when it rings. 

“You can feel it in your chest. You hear the wind-up of the hammer, and then all of a sudden — boom,” Zack recalled when St. Anthony rang during his very first tour of the belltower.

The Basilica’s largest bell isn’t rung everyday, but those on campus can hear its tone during special feast days or after a Notre Dame home football victory. 

The bourdon used to be rung with long wooden trestles, which used manpower to make it swing, but since the 1960s it has been automated. Now, Zack has the ability to control St. Anthony and the 23-bell carillon digitally from the first-floor sacristy. Some bells can still be rung from the keyboard of the carillon halfway up the bell tower staircase. The keys, which look like those of an organ, connect to metal wires that mechanically tug clappers inside corresponding bells.

Each day, the quarter hour bell rings once at quarter-after, twice at half-after, thrice at quarter-to and four times before the hour strike, which also marks the number of the hour. The Alma Mater plays each day at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. The Angelus series rings at noon and 6 p.m.

Contact Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu.

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News

FTX’s collapse: How ND students and alum responded

FTX, the crypto trading platform that headlined Super Bowl commercials last February, filed for bankruptcy Nov. 11 after using $10 billion in customer dollars to fund risky ventures at the affiliated trading firm Alameda Research.

Once hailed as crypto’s savior, FTX’s 30-year-old co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, quickly resigned and could now face criminal charges.

Investors are learning the hard way that markets move based on fundamental value, not personality. Many who were potentially swindled out of their investments, including several FTX employees, still do not know if they will ever see their money again. 

In response to FTX’s sudden collapse, crypto markets remain on edge in anticipation of continued fallout. This week, the contagion reached BlockFi, a crypto lender that declared bankruptcy Monday.

Notre Dame alumni and current students are no strangers to the crypto industry, and many matched the shock experienced by the market. But even as the dust settles, most aren’t stepping back from crypto as a whole.

Crypto firm co-founder and ND alum pins FTX collapse on bad actors

Daniel McGlinn ‘18 co-founded FirstWatch Crypto, a small firm helping investors gain exposure to cryptocurrency assets, with fellow Notre Dame graduate John Hrabrick ‘14. The Philadelphia-based duo also seeks to educate investors on the new asset class.

FirstWatch calls FTX’s collapse “an unfortunate story of fear and greed,” according to a recent newsletter. McGlinn says the situation is complex, but boils down to Bankman-Fried funding Alameda with money customers held on the FTX exchange.

“It’s just so in depth, and there are so many levels to the corruption, but really, Alameda Research and FTX were in cahoots with the FTT token. You have this token that was minted from nothing and used as leverage, and it’s a tricky game,” McGlinn said. “What happened is that FTX minted their token FTT and was using that as collateral to borrow and lend.”

FTX took money people deposited into the exchange and loaned it to Alameda. But even digital value can’t be in two places at once. 

He says FTX’s collapse was foreshadowed by similar implosions at Terra and Three Arrows Capital

Before the bankruptcy filing, FTX promoted an image of redemption, bailing out many struggling crypto players. Just months later, the firm that once rescued floundering crypto companies was in need of its own lifeline. 

“I was very surprised, and I think the whole market was, because you had Sam Bankman-Fried portrayed as this savior, this hero — he came up from nothing over three years and built a crypto empire,” McGlinn said. “Most of the market trusted him, thought what he was doing was great for the whole space, so I was very surprised.”

Bankman-Fried’s persona continues to intrigue those who follow crypto.

“There was an aura about him — even when he was pitching, he would be playing video games. It was built up that ‘Oh he’s this brilliant guy,’” McGlinn said. “We’re realizing now, because of his connections and how he’s managing money, that maybe he’s not so brilliant.”

McGlinn said many media outlets have been more lenient and forgiving to Bankman-Fried and individuals involved in the collapse than in past financial collapses.

“[Bankman-Fried] was not being transparent and he was not being truthful,” he said. “He was actively doing these things to hide what he was doing behind the scenes, such that even the auditors didn’t see some of the backdoor movements that were happening to move funds.” 

McGlinn, who graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in mechanical engineering, separates FTX’s collapse from the blockchain technology behind the crypto space. He entered the crypto industry because he was fascinated by blockchain technology and the possibility for people to “be their own bank.” He remains in the industry after the FTX shock for the same reason. 

Though he admits to months of an uncertain and rocky crypto space, he’s invested for the long term.

“I look at it at a tech level: What is this industry built on? It’s built on blockchain. It’s built on tokenization of assets, and those have nothing to do with centralized entities. We have the ability now to create decentralized entities that have performed perfectly well and have not been affected. It’s these unregulated, centralized, offshore companies that have collapsed,” he said.

FTX didn’t follow crypto’s decentralization thesis, though new avenues to access the world of digital assets will be needed, McGlinn added.

“There need to be centralized entities as bridges between the traditional finance and crypto worlds, or decentralized and centralized finance worlds. And FTX was that. It was an on-ramp. People could access crypto around the world and trade. Their token enabled people to do that, but what they were doing behind the scenes caused a lot of problems,” he said.

Already, exchanges like coinbase have started showing customers proof of reserves. McGlinn said increased transparency is central moving forward.

“That trust has been shattered for so many people that have lost money with FTX. How can we rebuild that and have more transparent entities?” he said.

What’s the biggest lesson from FTX? McGlinn says it’s to “be careful with trust” and “keep building.”

“There’s still a lot of promising products out there that will continue the advancement and be the next generation of tools that people can use,” he said.

Sophomore crypto project creator crosses paths with ‘sketchy’ Bahamian investor

Sophomore Kyle Beerbower has been a core team member for a real estate crypto project — Theopetra Labs — for a little over a year.

Last fall, Theopetra Labs was approached by a Bahamian investor, Beerbower said. This venture was similar to Alameda Research, the Bahamian hedge fund that cannibalized FTX customer funds to fund its risky projects, he explained.

“They offered us a very large sum, in the nine-figure range, to do not-very-ethical and arguably illegal things. Obviously, we said no. We kind of just shooed them off,” he recalls. “We had an interesting run in with a Bahamian venture. Immediately — red flags. I was looking at Alameda, too, and I thought, ‘There’s no way this is a green-light legal thing.’”

Beerbower says he never determined whether the fund that reached out to his project had any connection to Alameda. He says he became extremely wary when investors wanted “inside access” to pull financial levers, but would not disclose their identities. His experience suggests that the buy-out behavior FTX engaged in to purchase other crypto firms might not be uncommon.

“If that happened to us and we’re pretty small — you know, we’re not like big shots by any means — I’m curious to see how that unfolds over the next few months when all this basically gets made public from the bankruptcy filing,” he said.

Beerbower uses Coinbase, not FTX as a crypto exchange, though he says he was considering opening an account with FTX before the collapse.

“They had an awesome brand. I don’t think anyone saw it coming,” Beerbower said, echoing many other investors.

“They actually bailed out most competitors back in June. A lot of lending platforms went insolvent, and they actually bailed them out. Unbeknownst to everyone but three people in the world, they were using wire fraud to bail them out,” he said.

Like McGlinn, Beerbower sees the collapse as part of crypto’s growing pains.

“Kind of contrarian, but I’m kind of glad it happened. I mean, it sucks that they lost basically millions of people’s money,” he said, calling it the largest fraud in history. “My reaction for the industry is, it’s just short-term pain for a long-term benefit of wiping out all these over-leveraged bad actors. If you look at the history of any technology, every time there’s a new tech, I think the scale of fraud grows in size, and crypto’s just experiencing some version of it.”

Student crypto investors exit or step back from the industry

Robert Batistich, a sophomore from New Jersey who studies finance and economics, began trading a small amount of crypto holdings his senior year of high school. Last March, he sold his crypto assets and exited the space. The FTX collapse has only solidified his decision.

“I just felt like I got in it for the wrong reasons,” he said. “Like I understand it, but I don’t really see a future use with the current landscape of cryptocurrencies.”

Batistich used Coinbase to trade Bitcoin, but he is confident in his choice to exit.

“It just seemed like speculation … and I didn’t feel like I was in it for the right reasons,” he said.

After making that decision early in 2022, Batistich said he was not surprised when the news about FTX broke.

“I was not surprised at all, just with the whole crypto landscape, it’s totally unregulated or barely regulated, and just seeing that, I feel like something like that was bound to happen because a lot of people are just in it to make a quick buck,” he said.

He said crypto’s unregulated nature makes it a prime opportunity for those trying to make money unethically or buy and sell illicit substances.

“It’s just the crypto industry,” he said. “A lot of people aren’t the most ethical … at least one exchange is going to be headed by some jerk like SBF [Sam Bankman-Fried] or whoever, who is just totally making bad decisions.”

The situation has convinced Batistich that regulation will be necessary to prevent another collapse.

“The whole entire point of crypto is that it’s supposed to be unregulated, and it’s sort of liberating, so people don’t have to go through banks. They don’t have to deal with the government, but I just feel like … at this point, something needs to be done, like government regulation, otherwise people are just going to keep losing their money,” he said.

Even though he no longer feels confident enough to invest in crypto, Batistich said he thinks there is a future for blockchain technology, even if it isn’t as a currency.

“I totally think in the future Blockchain is going to be used in almost everything just because of how it works, the decentralization,” he said.

Similarly, junior Mitchell Brown, who used to mine ethereum in his dorm room in Duncan Hall, says the situation that occurred at FTX will continue to be a problem in the crypto space. 

“It’s incredibly inherent because the crypto space is so young,” he said. “It is unregulated and people aren’t monitoring it, so this is going to happen.”

Brown has made quite a few crypto investments, many of which he lost money on.

“So many things are turning out to be scams,” he said. “Despite the thousands I’ve lost, I’m still throwing money out for better or for worse — probably for worse.”

His current trading strategy involves creating an algorithm to buy new crypto coins early in their lifespans and ideally, sell them when their price peaks from popularity. 

Though Brown didn’t have any holdings in FTX, he says he will be more careful when choosing crypto exchanges in the future. Despite his grim view on the prevalence of crypto scams, Brown still expressed surprise at Bankman-Fried’s actions.

“He overstepped so many bounds, and it’s crazy that it went unchecked for so long,” he said. “It seems so conniving and back-handed.”

Contact Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu.

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Ask The Observer: Are grab-n-go point values fair?

Notre Dame’s grab-and-go lives up to its name for convenience, but some students are questioning how the point-based prices are determined.

Open between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the grab-n-go locations in North and South dining halls offer quick meal options for students on the run, including snacks, drinks and pre-packaged sandwiches. Each swipe is worth 7 points, and items in the grab-and-go are labeled based on how many points they cost.

Some students walk away with a sandwich, a side and a drink. Others leave with a Body Armor sports drink and a mandarin orange cup.

Osman Heredia, a freshman living in Keenan, said he likes to stop at the grab-n-go for extra snacks and to use up meal swipes. He said not all item point values are created equal.

“It’s a little unbalanced when this coffee is the majority of my points,” Heredia said, pointing to his plastic bottle of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. 

Cole Noss, a junior, appreciates the grab-n-go service even though he said the items are not exactly a good value.

“It’s pretty sick. Essentially, I don’t use all my points, so I might as well get the free food,” he said.

But when it comes to point-value fairness, Noss isn’t sold.

“When you actually do the math for like three peanut butter and jellies… it gets you to like six or seven points, so mathematically, no [it’s not a fair system],” he said.

Reggie Kalili, director of student dining, said there is no dollar value assigned to each swipe because meal plans are included in the holistic, $16,710 total for room and board.

“It’s part of room and board, so we don’t have that [swipe value]. It’s part of one fund,” he said.

Still, guests who visit either dining hall will pay $17.85 for a lunch meal.

Students access that same dining hall meal — or a visit to the grab-n-go — for the cost of one swipe.

Compared to the $17.85 estimated swipe value, the value of the items in the grab-n-go falls short of what guests pay for a swipe.

If dollar values are assigned to grab-n-go items based on a guest lunch meal swipe, price premiums emerge for nearly every item.

An RX Bar that costs $1.84 per unit at Target costs 4 points — comparable to $10.20 — in the grab-n-go. Other items from Pop-Tarts to Pringles have point values that quadruple the retail price available to consumers shopping at Walmart, Kroger or Target. Pudding cups, which cost $0.27 per unit or one grab-n-go point, include a 1772% markup.

The Observer analyzed the retail prices of grab-n-go items and compared them to the value of a guest lunch meal at North or South dining hall. Maggie Eastland | The Observer

Kalili said the point values are determined by the cost of the items and by a review of how many items a student with a meal plan can take home with a single swipe.

“Those are determined by the cost of the items,” he said. “It’s really the cost of the item, and the cost of the item equates to so many points.”

Before 2020, when meal plans gave students a given number of swipes per week, students could use more than one swipe at once at the grab-n-go. Now, students have a block meal plan and can only swipe into the grab-n-go every 45 minutes.

Prior to the change, students flocked to the grab-n-go each Friday to use up remaining swipes and fill their makeshift dorm pantries.

“The 45-minute pause was put in place, and that was really to prevent that,” Kalili said. “That really wasn’t what the meal plan was for. It wasn’t just so people could use up all their swipes and stock up on orange juices as mixers for a party that weekend.”

Campus Dining tries to limit this kind of stock-up behavior, Kalili explained.

“The way that the grab-n-go was originally designed was to be an alternative, not a replacement for the meal within the dining hall,” he said.

When it comes to what items make an appearance in the grab-n-go, Kalili says that they are chosen by popularity, request and vendor agreements.

“If you look in grab-n-go, there’s a lot of choices, and those come from, primarily from students, and what they take and don’t take, but then we also deal with our vendors,” he said.

Kalili said this year’s guacamole cups reflect a collaborative effort with a new vendor. The Quest and Pure Protein bars were recently added by student request, he added.

“If somebody has an idea or a suggestion, we would definitely look at bringing that in,” Kalili said.

Contact Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu

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Bishop Robert Barron to speak on campus, CCC presents on club funding

During Wednesday evening’s student senate meeting, the director of faith initiatives announced Catholic bishop Robert Barron is coming to speak on campus, and the Club Coordination Council (CCC) president said the clubs it funds could benefit from a greater share of Student Union funding.

‘Second most-followed Catholic priest’ to speak at Notre Dame

Bishop Robert Barron — author, speaker and founder of Word on Fire Catholic ministries — accepted an invitation to speak on campus, according to a presentation by director of faith initiatives Ben Nash.

Nash called Bishop Barron “the second most-followed Catholic priest in the world, second to only to the Pope.”

“It’s a big deal,” he said. 

Student body president Patrick Lee said the date and location of the event are not yet finalized.

In his report on progress so far in the term, Nash reported that he has completed an initiative to provide Hallow, a Catholic prayer and meditation app, free to all students. Notre Dame students can now access the app’s premium subscription for free with their student email. Nash also reported additional accomplishments: a 9/11 mass presided over by Fr. Monk Malloy, a suicide healing and memorial prayer service and a mass for survivors of sexual assault. Other efforts in progress include a religious vocations fair in the spring, opportunities to learn about Catholic mass, an upcoming interfaith council and an improved theology curriculum that is more accessible to first-generation and low-income students.

CCC presentation draws attention to funding differences

Each year, the Club Coordination Council (CCC) receives around $400,000, about 40% of the budget for both clubs and Student Union organizations. Meanwhile, club budgets project total costs of more than $1.9 million, according to a report conducted by an independent senate committee to study funding allocations over the past five years. 

“Because they’re asking for so much, and we have so little, we have a very thorough process as to how we allocate,” Connor Patrick, CCC president, said during the meeting.

The CCC oversees and distributes funds to more than 350 campus clubs, including academic, athletic, performing arts, social service, cultural and special interest groups. The roughly $400,000 in CCC funding provided to clubs is pooled from a $95 student activity fee, a portion of the proceeds from the sales of The Shirt and interest on the Student Union Endowment. Currently, 40% of that total is earmarked for clubs and 59% of the money goes to Student Union organizations, student government administrative groups like Hall President’s Council, executive board and Judicial Council. The final 1% contributes to special interest clubs that don’t fall under either umbrella, such as the Knights of Columbus and PrismND.

The CCC provides funding based on spring allocations, winter reallocations, contingency appeals, collaboration appeals and loans. The process and requirements to receive funding are stringent because of the tight budget. Funding arrives with line-item budget, dues and fundraising requirement strings attached. While Student Union organizations typically receive funding that meets 80.65% of their projected expenses, clubs that apply to the CCC for funding only reach around 18% funding for their unadjusted projected expenses.

“As you can see this is wildly different, so we’ve been forced as the CCC to create our own system… to adapt to this reality,” Patrick said.

As clubs submit their budgets, CCC officials audit and mark down the line items to adjust the budgets. Then, they meet between 50% and 60% of club funding needs. The difference is made up by club fees and fundraising.

According to research conducted by the independent senate committee, the maximum funding given to any club amounted to $25,000. That club raised over $12,000 through fundraising. On the other hand, the maximum funding given to a Student Union organization was $260,000. Unlike clubs, most Student Union organizations do not have to collect dues or fundraise.

“These are not equal-paying fields,” Patrick said. “That’s all I’m trying to say is that it is not equal in any way. In terms of standards, they are wildly different.”

He hopes the presentation will foster further conversation, especially while the report’s results remain fresh. 

“This is about us coming together and solving this very apparent issue,” he said. “We’re team players. We just want to help solve this issue and create a fair Notre Dame.”

The report also shows that Notre Dame’s $400,000 budget for club funding pales in comparison to most peer institutions that provide more than $1 million for clubs. Club funding numbers were not adjusted based on number of clubs or size of student body in the report. Vanderbilt University, with more than 12,000 students, allots $1.9 million for club funding. To serve a student population of more than 8,000, Notre Dame allots less than $400,000. As another point of comparison, Boston College assigns $500,000 to clubs, not including athletic clubs.

“We have a desire to cover more costs. We want to do more for clubs, but we just need help with that. We can’t do it right now,” Patrick said. “In an ideal world, we get a bigger piece of the pie. What I’m saying here tonight and what the senate report says is that there are different standards.”

Patrick also showed a pie chart of Yale University’s funding split between student government administration organizations and student clubs. Notre Dame gives proportionally less money to student clubs than Yale and many of its peers.

“The goal is just get people thinking — what could Notre Dame look like if we had one million dollars to give to clubs?” Patrick said.

Additional business: Senate bylaws amended, DineTogether ND, proposal for UCC counselor diversity

The senate then passed SO 2223-12, an order to amend senate bylaws to ensure informed debate and effective agendas after it was postponed last week. The order codifies the tradition of placing business on the agenda a full week before debate unless there is unanimous approval to consider a resolution on an urgent basis.

Student body vice president Sofie Stitt noted that DineTogether ND will launch Sunday. Organized by director of health and well-being Sisy Chen, the program is intended to create a designated space for solo diners to eat with fellow students. North Dining Hall’s designated space is the round tables past the grill, and South Dining Hall’s designated tables are those nearest the fireplace. Finally, Stitt introduced a resolution to increase LGBTQ+, racial and ethnic minority diversity among counselors at the University Counseling Center (UCC).

Contact Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu.

Categories
News

Meet the industry disruptor that began as a Notre Dame startup

A Chicago-based speaker startup has raised $7.5 million in funding — and it got its start at a Hesburgh Library whiteboard.

Now headquartered in Chicago, Resonado Labs was founded by Peter Moeckel ‘20, Brian Youngil Cho ‘19 and Erikc Perez-Perez ‘19 while they were studying in the Mendoza College of Business.

Since then, the company has raised millions from investors including Catapult Ventures, Queen City Angels and Lofty Ventures. A recent round in 2021 was led by Crush Ventures, the VC arm of Crush Music, a talent management firm that manages artists like Sia, Lorde and Fall Out Boy.

Resonado has secured one-time partnerships with big names like Hyundai and Notre Dame Athletics. It also developed RV and marine-focused segments of its speaker business that Lippert acquired earlier this year. Today, Resonado is working with Klipsch, a subsidiary of Audiovox (VOXX), and with the U.S. Air Force and Special Operations Command to craft tactical audio products using their patented sound technology.

Making (sound) waves

The technology that’s catching the attention of national defense experts is brand new to the industry. Co-founder and chief of marketing Perez said that as speakers have evolved to be slimmer and thinner, the sound technology inside them has often remained unchanged. Resonado strives to be different from the inside-out.

“We’ve built a speaker architecture from the core out that’s tailored for modern products,” Perez said. “The conventional speaker has literally been around for 100 years, and if you break apart any product, you’re still going to find that same architecture in it, but I think the entire landscape of the audio world has completely shifted.”

Dubbed Res-Core, Resonado’s patented Flat Core Speaker technology uses two parallel bar magnets, a planar voice coil and a flat, racetrack-like diaphram. Other speakers still use a traditional cone shape that is difficult to fit into thin and sleek designs.

Inside the Resonado Lab in Chicago, speaker driver prototypes are powered by patented Res-Core motors. | Image courtesy of Erikc Perez-Perez

“What a lot of these companies out there have done is they’ve taken that conventional speaker motor and just applied it to slimmer and thinner speaker types, so they’ve just retrofitted this super old motor on to new factors. That’s just inefficient,” Perez said. “We’ve completely redesigned the motor to be perfect for these form factors.”

Assembling the team

The idea for to re-engineer the speaker began with Cho and his father, Lee Hyun Cho, former head of research and development at LG. 

After studying speaker innovation with his father in South Korea, Cho began to look for a team in South Bend. He met Moeckel at the Subway formerly in LaFortune Student Center, and the two finance majors hit it off. The pair joined forces to launch a startup and compete in the IDEA Center’s McCloskey New Venture Competition for a shot at a share of the $350,000 in prize money. 

Despite high hopes, Moeckel and Cho didn’t see instant success. Their 2017 business-to-consumer speaker company debut fell flat on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Then, Moeckel and Cho met Perez, a junior living in Siegfried Hall with an affinity for marketing and design.

A former architecture major, Perez knew he wanted to be involved in the creative marketing process from the beginning stages of a company. He switched his major because of the “freedom that comes with business” and ended up working for a speaker industry disruptor. 

“I knew that I didn’t want to do a conventional track within marketing pretty early on,” Perez said. “The startup world was something that was super enticing to me, having the ability to actually do everything at the groundwork from the marketing side.”

When Perez officially climbed aboard, the speaker startup was called Flato. Perez quickly got to work rebranding. His first move? Changing the company’s name from Flato to Resonado. The task was more difficult than Perez first thought.

“I was just like that seems like an easy thing,” he said. “And then it ended up being so much work to find something that you can Google, that’s going to be the top result and that you can get a trademark on.” 

Perez next took the lead on product photography and content creation. Notre Dame and the co-founders’ friends became the backdrop for their product promotion. With the new name and photos, Resonado started selling speakers on Amazon.

In 2018, Resonado pitched a business-to-consumer speaker company in the McCloskey Competition. Placing sixth, the team was still hungry.

Soundproofing the pitch

The co-founders dreamed of making Resonado a full-time job after graduation, but that aspiration wasn’t tangible until the group leveraged Idea Center connections to make the trek to Silicon Valley that summer.

“Just working on something as a side thing, it’s hard to see what it could be, but I think especially after spending time in Silicon Valley and raising money and just getting that exposure to that world, we were definitely like, ‘Okay, this could be real,’” Perez recalled.

Just as they were embracing their status as the big fish in a little campus pond, Resonado was suddenly reduced to a little startup minnow in an ocean of Silicon Valley technology companies.

“It was a pretty huge culture shock. I remember we went out there, and we started doing pitch competitions and talking to investors, and maybe like the first 10, we would just get shredded, totally, completely shredded by investors,” Perez said. “It was super eye-opening. We were now just one of a million startups that were vying for these investors’ attention, but it ended up being super healthy. We ended up learning so much in such a short period of time.”

Despite the competitive nature of the trip, Perez said there was an energy of innovation about the place that inspired him and his co-founders.

“It’s awesome just being in an environment where you would go to a cafe and the person next to you is just like, an executive at Microsoft, and the person to the other side of you was talking about their next startup,” Perez said. “Just so much buzz and such a great atmosphere of building things that you just simply don’t have anywhere else.”

Perez said his favorite part of the startup process was when the tide turned in Silicon Valley, and Resonado started receiving positive feedback in the pitch room. 

“That’s when we knew we had something … now comes the exciting thing. We have a direction, and all you have to do is execute, and I think that was kind of the most fun part,” he said.

One last encore

Back at Notre Dame for their final year together, Resonado had one more shot at the McCloskey Competition in 2019. Reorganizing into a business-to-business model, the team walked away tied for first and with a fresh $25,000 in their wallets.

Resonado Labs, student startup, business, Erikc Perez-Perez, Brian Cho, Peter Moeckel, Mendoza College of Business, IDEA Center, speakers, Klipsch, McCloskey Competition
Brian Cho (left) and Erikc Perez-Perez (right) stand on stage while pitching Resonado in the 2019 McCloskey Competition. Resonado split the first-place prize of $25,000. | Image courtesy of Erikc Perez-Perez

With Notre Dame as its first investor, Cho and Perez graduated that year. Diplomas in hand, the co-founders entered the post-college world as their own employees.

“We were able to give ourselves that first paycheck maybe like a month after we graduated,” Perez said.

Mitchell Kokko, an IDEA Center student analyst who helped Resonado build connections in its early stages, said the team’s ability to see beyond the college campus allowed them to turn their student startup into a full-time gig.

“They were what you hope Notre Dame students will be. They were all very passionate about the product,” Kokko said. “What was really exciting about Resonado was that they were looking so much bigger. That type of vision is really uncommon while still a student in college.”

Perez decided to attend Notre Dame for the architecture program. He left with a marketing job at a startup and the confidence to walk into a room full of multi-millionaire tech investors.

“I think my biggest [advice] would just be, if you’re able to get yourself into a room, you deserve to be there,” he said. “When we were starting out, we would be in rooms and in meetings with 45-year-old executives who we were trying to land as a client or hire for our law firm … and it’s super easy to get caught up in imposter syndrome.”

He says that would be his advice to current students who have a big idea.

“If you were able to get yourself in that position, and you’re going to school at Notre Dame, you have the intelligence, you clearly have the ambition to not only hold your ground in interactions like that but also get what you want out of it,” Perez said.

Contact Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu

Categories
Scene

20 songs about age 20

I may not be a teenager anymore, but I refuse to enter the “twenty-something-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life” genre just yet. Please reference Evan McKenna’s “22 songs about being 22” for such musings. Twenty is an age still ripe for blissful ignorance, and these songs are doing their best to tap into that.

Raise a glass (of North Dining Hall Powerade) to being 20 years young. Is there a poignant sense of the impending doom of adulthood? Absolutely. That is your exact motivation to stir up mayhem. Just like the age, these 20 songs about age 20 have a fair bit of genre whiplash. You’re welcome.

“20 songs about 20” can be found in this Spotify playlist.

#1 – “The Spins” by Mac Miller

“Ummmmm… follow your dreams. Yeah!”  Name something more year 20. You can’t.

“If your girl loves me, let her love me. You feel me?”

Responsibility is an illusion.

#2 – “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and Pharell Williams

Play this on repeat when you want to celebrate everything you’ve achieved (you know, like not flunking out of college), but you still don’t quite have life figured out.

“We’ve come too far / To give up who we are / So let’s raise the bar / And our cups to the stars.”

If dorm party toasts were a thing, those lyrics would be next level.

“We’re up all night ‘til the sun / We’re up all night to get some / We’re up all night for good fun / We’re up all night to get lucky”

If your friends are anything like mine, you never know where the night may end up. That’s half the fun. Nick’s Patio likely would not exist without this attitude. 

#3 – “Firecracker” by Ryan Adams

Give the harmonica a chance. Embrace the Americana. 

“Well everybody wants to go forever / I just want to burn up hard and bright / I just want to be your firecracker / And maybe be your baby tonight.”

Or perhaps you prefer the more literary Jack London?

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a super meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.”

I, too, would rather be ashes than dust. This song sounds just like living in the moment. 

#4 – “As It Was” by Harry Styles

I am fully convinced Harry Styles released this song just for 20-year-olds. Is it happy? Is it sad? Both? Neither? Who really cares — we all love listening to it. Welcome to 20. By this age, you’ve seen things change for better and for worse, and “you know it’s not the same as it was.”

#5 – “Fluorescent Adolescent” by Arctic Monkeys

I have not been 20 for very long, but so far I’ve learned that there’s a beautiful, familiar order to the chaos. Or to the rock-and-roll tune of this song — “Everything’s in order in a black hole.”

When you’re 20, those conflicting emotions should most definitely be sounded out against a drum beat. Also, if you can’t legally drink, you are still an adolescent. Thus, the song title applies.

“Remember when you used to be a rascal?” Oh wait, that was last night.

#6 – “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull, Ne-Yo

If you need me to explain this one, why are you even reading this article? More importantly, have you been to a single social function on the tri-campus?

#7 – “Reflections” by The Neighborhood

This song is a little more emo and reflective than some of the party jams, but it’s still a banger. The beat drop is next level.

Here’s how I imagine it playing out: It’s midnight on Tuesday. You’ve been studying for an accounting exam in the library for four hours, and you’re itching to leave. So, you lace up the running shoes and embark on the ideal weeknight adrenaline rush — a manic sprint around the lakes, alone and in the dark.

Amid the deafening cry of your feet against the gravel and the fear-induced drum of your heart, there’s the beat drop.

“We were too close to the stars.”

Is that a person, a shadow or a vicious goose? 

“I see my reflection in your eyes.”

You are the dramatic main character — conflicted, but energized. It’s just dripping 20 years old. 

#8 – “Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall & John Oats

This one’s a groovy song to vibe to while drinking two-week-old refrigerated dining hall “iced coffee” out of a reused Starbucks cup. Trust me, you’ll feel like a millionaire. Use with caution.

“You’re goin too far / ‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway (rich girl) / You can rely on the old man’s money.” 

It’s the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling like the broke young adult you are. Just channel your inner “I-have-a-trust-fund.” The magic only works if you are actively updating an Excel spreadsheet of your student debt. I do not make the rules.

#9 – “summer&cigarettes” by sammy rash

“Say you don’t have no regrets, but you gon’ regret that tomorrow”

Now who gave you permission to write something that hit so close to home, Sammy? They deserve a raise and a slap across the face. 

“Underpaid and overstressed.”

Sigh.

“City lights and conversations / People you don’t like / Waste your nights in strangers basements / Say you’re doing fine.”

I’m banging my fist on the table right now. 

This song is enough to make any adventurous, sometimes introverted, occasionally cynical, “misunderstood” 20-year-old feel angrily understood.

#10 – “Crash and Burn” by Thomas Rhett

Is this song a chaotic, danceable fire set to a catchy country tune that makes you feel like a 15-year-old outlaw driving a pick-up truck on a country road the day before getting your license? Yes. This is the essence of 20 years old.

“A slammin’ door and lesson learned / I let another lover crash and burn.” 

The lyrics may leave you questioning why the song sounds so happy. Precisely. This is not a year for stability.

#11 – “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty

It’s a classic for a reason. Shall we call it an iconic anthem of perseverance and grit?

The lyrics have something for all ages, but if I have not figured out how to fly by age 30, I’m retiring.

#12 – Something Super Sweet by Rory Webley

This one is a bit more obscure, I’ll admit. It’s a song about blissful anesthesia that sounds like anesthesia in your ears. 

“You give me ten CC’s of something super sweet.” 

There’s a lot of excitement and bliss at age 20, but this song will have you questioning if it’s all just as fabricated as an anesthetic drug.

“Didn’t Frankenstein teach you anything? Don’t revive dead things.”

You just have to listen. It’s a lyrical masterpiece. Again, the words are a bit dark and twisty, but the cadence of the music is euphoric. I hope you’re sensing a theme. 

#13 – “Under 21” by Save Ferris

It wouldn’t be a playlist compilation about age 20 without an actual song reference to the age. This “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”-inspired song will definitely scratch that itch.

“I only want to have a little fun, but every time I try they tell me, ‘You’re not 21.’”

I have not heard something so relatable in a long time. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is also a cultural touchstone for 20-year-olds through the decades. He stands the test of time.

#14 – “Shower” by Becky G

This makes the list purely for the nostalgia factor. Any 20-year-old who grew up watching even a few minutes of Disney Channel must have an appreciation for this late 2000s pop hit.

#15 – “New Romantics” by Taylor Swift

The Observer would fire me if I didn’t include a Taylor Swift song on this playlist. (Seriously, I am at gunpoint.)

“Baby I could build a castle/ Out of all the things they threw at me.”

I think I speak for all my two-decade-old commiserators when I say we are the new romantics, and “we are too busy dancing / to get knocked off our feet.”

#16 – “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira

This song really does it all — Friday night, morning workouts, afternoon dance seshes, late night studying and everything in between. It’s also coming up on its own twentieth birthday. A little Shakira has never made my day worse.

#17 – “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest

Sometimes you’re 20, and you just need to be cast as the main character for a minute, or two minutes and 50 seconds. Plus, most college students are fast and quick friends with the moon.

#18 – “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is not just for the middle-aged. You are missing out.

“Hey, what else can we do now? / Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair.”

Petition to start playing this at CJ’s again.

#19 – “Kilby Girl” by Bazzi

Falling at the perfect number in the list, Kilby Girl is great for channeling the one-year-ago nostalgia factor.

“I overheard that she was nineteen / She’s got a fake ID and a nose ring / Those kind of girls tend to know things / better than I do.”

See, now that you’re 20, you’re basically the epitome of wisdom.

#20 – “When I’m 64” by The Beatles

Something about singing along to this song is so cathartic for an upbeat yet washed-up 20-year-old.

“Yours sincerely, wasting away.”

Contact Maggie at meastlan@nd.edu

Categories
News

Rising federal interest rates pinch student lenders

Your student loans just got more expensive. 

The Federal Reserve is steadily increasing the federal funds rate to mitigate inflation. For college students, that translates to more expensive federal and private loans. 

At Notre Dame, 24% of first years took out federal loans in 2020, and 11% took out other or private loans. This July, interest rates to borrow money from the U.S. government to pay for higher education ballooned to nearly double the 2020-2021 interest rates. Private rates, which are often variable and more expensive, will follow suit. 

For the 2022-2023 school year, federal loans carry a 4.99% interest rate, compared to rates of only 3.73% from 2021-2022 and 2.75% from 2020-2021. Graduate students will pay 6.54% this year. 

Student loan rates are spiking as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates.

On top of low interest rates, the U.S. Department of Education paused all repayments and set interest rates to 0% in March 2020. Interest accrual and repayment are slated to resume this January. 

Once the zero percent interest rate break evaporates, students with unsubsidized student loans will rack up almost 5% interest for money loaned this year.

This shift arrives as the Federal Reserve continues to stymie inflation by raising interest rates from the record lows of the COVID pandemic. 

Kristen Collett-Schmitt, a Notre Dame finance professor and associate dean for innovation and inclusion, said interest rate increases are putting more financial strain on student borrowers. 

“Students looking to borrow now are going to be paying more in interest than students two years ago,” she said. “From an equity perspective, that’s difficult because we’ve seen the cost of higher education steeply increase in the last several years. That increases the need for borrowing, and now the cost of borrowing is going up.” 

Federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans are issued each school year, so it’s possible for a borrower to have four loans with four different interest rates by graduation. Based on the class of 2022, total federal student loans average $21,362 at the time of graduation. Notre Dame graduates have a loan default rate of less than 1% for the past two decades. 

While no student is required to make minimum interest payments while enrolled full time, those with unsubsidized loans accrue interest that is capitalized, or added to the principal amount loaned, upon graduation. The Notre Dame office of financial aid recommends students with unsubsidized loans pay the interest that accrues while they are in school if possible. 

Students with unsubsidized federal loans might not see this year’s 4.99% interest rate right now, but it’s working behind the scenes. 

For a first-year student taking out the maximum $5,500 in unsubsidized loan funds, interest will amount to $1,098 by the time of graduation. That’s after accumulating daily at this year’s 4.99% fixed rate for four years. A first-year student in 2020 borrowing the $5,500 maximum amount will accrue only 41 cents of interest each day. Loans from the 2022-2023 school year will accrue 75 cents per day. 

For personal finance purposes, Collet-Schmitt says students should understand the lending terms, think about their future plans, consider when repayment will be possible, investigate whether a fixed or variable interest rate would be in their best personal interest and plan for repayment flexibility. 

While the economy has been unpredictable for the past few years through the COVID pandemic, Collett-Schmitt says interest rates have followed it as economists would expect. 

“What we’ve seen with interest rates over the last two years is 100% attributable to the economic turmoil that we’ve experienced. It was textbook in the sense that when we saw the economy suffer as a result of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve lowered its target to stimulate spending rather than saving,” she said. “Now we’re seeing inflation take its toll on the economy. [The Federal Reserve] wants to tamper demand and spending to help with inflation. A higher interest rate is going to do that by discouraging the borrowing that often leads to spending. Although the economy is not always predictable, how the Federal Reserve responded to the economic condition with the federal funds rate certainly was.” 

In terms of borrower behavior, Collett-Schmitt said higher federal student loan rates might push some students to reconsider attending college. Others might seek work-study programs or scholarships more fervently than before. 

Students who have borrowed federal money can check the status and interest rates of their loans on the federal student aid website.

Categories
Viewpoint

15 reasons to keep newspapers around

Nothing will put a damper on a bright-eyed college student like the journalism industry, but here’s the upside. I’ve compiled a list of 15 amazing uses for newspapers. Hint: The final reason is the most absurd of them all.

1. Dorm room fly swatter

Nothing works better than a rolled-up newspaper.

2. Annoying roommate swatter

I can’t say I didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of this many times.

3. Basketball game confetti

There is something so cathartic about ripping up the past Observer edition to celebrate the first Irish basket.

4. Giant coaster for your coffee table

How else are you going to prevent everyone’s beverage cans from leaving rings on your Ikea quad common room furniture?

5. Paper airplane fodder

Don’t try to argue that printer paper is better for this purpose. Do you mean to say you shirk from a challenge?

6. Campfire kindling

Trust me, newspapers work better than those high-tech fire bricks. Didn’t the boy scouts teach you anything?

7. (In an extreme pinch) toilet paper

Can I get a little commotion from the broke college students who worked summer internships?

8. Umbrella that slowly grows soggy

I know you’ve been trapped inside North or South Dining Hall when it started pouring. Well, you could’ve saved your hair if you’d grabbed a copy of our latest edition. This ink bleeds to keep you dry.

9. Introvert’s best friend

Speaking from experience, reading or “reading” a newspaper is a phenomenal strategy to prevent social interaction.

10. Instant megaphone

This could also be called the introvert’s worst nightmare. Use the newspaper to blast insults at your friends as they walk to class. Amplify the effect by using an Irish Insider edition to wake up your neighbors on game day.

11. DIY personal fan

Those of you who don’t have AC, I hope you’re listening and learning.

12. Paint splatter absorber

This is one of the newspaper’s most monopolistic markets. Nothing works better to protect your floor from the latest art project.

13. Material to make little paper boats

Set your creations afloat on St. Mary’s Lake and take in a serene moment. You don’t have to worry about them getting lost at the bottom of the lake. Paper is biodegradable.

14. Two for one deal: material to make little paper hats

Let’s make this the new game day uniform. Irish wear green? More like Irish wear student journalism.

15. A resource to learn more about your community, educate yourself about the world around you and build a repertoire of engaging, diverse, conversational material.

Now this, this is truly preposterous. I know it’s rather radical to suggest such a use for a newspaper, but I hope you’ll give the Observer a chance to be part of your college experience. 

The Observer is here for you — the students of the tri-campus. We welcome your participation and feedback. This is your forum, whether that means reading the new edition over Monday morning dining hall coffee (my personal favorite), writing a Letter to the Editor, buying a classified ad to wish your friend a happy birthday or procrastinating your homework with a crossword puzzle. Say hi, email us and read the paper! We have copies available in student centers, dining halls and most of the academic buildings across the tri-campus.

In a culture often entrenched in social media feuds and one-sided conversations, I hope The Observer can be a place of respite for you to enjoy 16 pages of colorful stories about the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities. From frontline football game coverage to the latest Netflix show review, there really is something for everyone. We hope you find yourself reflected in these pages. You are welcome here.

TL;DR: This is your student newspaper. Give it a read. Why not? 

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

Maggie Eastland

Maggie is an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer. Email her at meastlan@nd.edu.