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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary's can stand alone

Dear Mark Easley,

In response to your "Annex SMC" article (Nov. 10), as Saint Mary's College students, we are not interested in merging with Notre Dame despite the "benefits" that you list. If you even knew a few of the intelligent women that attend Saint Mary's College then you would quickly realize that many Saint Mary's students are extremely proud to be Belles and have never possessed the desire to apply to Notre Dame, much less be "annexed" by your University!

Unquestionably, the "oppressive thumb of draconian single-sex education" that you speak of is something we cherish. Our single-sex education is not something that we feel impedes our learning in any way. Instead, the opportunity to learn in an empowering environment encourages open discussion and increased participation. We do not consider our education to be draconian in any way; in fact, I think it is more appropriate to say that your view towards women is draconian.

Furthermore, a mergence between the two schools would not result in simply a "minor name change," but rather the loss of a proud identity that we refuse to sacrifice. In 1971 it was proposed that Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College merge. When the plan fell through, Fr. Hesburgh said to Saint Mary's College, "I get the impression you're in favor of the marriage, but two things are missing. Number one, you don't want to take our name, and number two, you don't want to live with us." Fr. Hesburgh was absolutely correct: No matter how many Notre Dame men propose to Saint Mary's women, we as a whole are not interested in taking the Notre Dame name nor its residence halls. The current relationship between the two schools is unique and a tradition in itself; why fix something that isn't broken?

We clearly know where we stand in terms of priorities; merging with Notre Dame is not one of them. Contrary to your belief, we are not a territory of land begging to be bought out by our "superior" brother school. We are, however, a national liberal arts college that has produced thousands of successful graduates just as your university has. We "lovely ladies across the lakes" do have much to offer to the world, and we will proudly offer that with our Saint Mary's College degrees.



Lindsay Ellis


McCandless Hall

Dani Haydell


Le Mans Hall

Alyssa Vinluan


Le Mans Hall

Nov. 10

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