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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

The rules of existence in Zahm's kingdom

Let's get something straight here. Last week, several co-presidents of Knott Hall deemed it their right to claim a part of Notre Dame campus as the Knott Quadrangle. While this gesture is cute, it is based on the misguided presumption Knott has any authority on campus. While the story of your origins as Flanner Hall was nice to read, I see none of that coolness in the current Knott Hall. You can't even decide upon one president, so don't pretend all of the sudden your poorly elected triumvirate can start making statements that affect the rest of campus.
Beyond the uselessness of Knott Hall, there is a larger problem on campus: the idea any dorm has this authority but Zahm. Here are the facts. When people ask what dorm is the most infamous on campus, no one says Sorin College or Duncan Hall. When a former University president says anything, good or bad, that happens on campus begins in one dorm, he surely is not referring to Knott, Morrissey, Siegfried or Keough. Now, some dorms will claim otherwise. Keenan will claim it has a reason for existence, Keough will say "We have Father Pete" and Sorin will say "We have sweater vests." Duncan: blazers. St. Edward's: gentlemen/pretentiousness. O'Neill: "bro-ness." Stanford: a fire-resistant fortress. Alumni: Wake Week. Morrissey: tower parties. Siegfried: trophies. But the fact is none of this justifies any of these dorms having any authority on campus. No dorm but Zahm is the one everyone loves to hate, the service-minded community that accepts all and does its best to help all in any way it can, both on-and off-campus.
Now I, like many "Zahmbies," have many friends outside of Zahm. Some of my best friends are in the dorms I have listed, and none of this letter says anything to diminish their character or good works. This does not change the fact, however, that Zahm cannot be matched as a dorm. So go ahead, eager responders, and point out Zahm's faults. Argue each dorm has a unique contribution (this has no bearing on the current double-standard debate) and claim your guy's dorm deserves the title Zahm rightfully owns. Please claim spots on campus as your own, as Knott Hall has done. Just remember when you do, you are staking a claim in Zahm's kingdom, a privilege we can revoke at will.

Daniel Carinci
Zahm House
April 30