Let’s be honest, how many of us freshman actually go through all the required material for Moreau? These five to ten minute videos and reading passages are supposed to provide us as first year students a slice of the pie that Notre Dame believes future alumni should carry out into the world. However, I believe that this alone is not enough material on cultural competency if Notre Dame truly wants to give a holistic view of their first year curriculum. I believe that Moreau can be further improved upon and should be used as a tool to expand cultural awareness at an early stage for all incoming students. Notre Dame believes it is accomplishing the point, but who is to say that three 50 minute classes with some five ineffective videos will educate the largely Caucasian student body? The problem with the curriculum is the material given to first year students does not directly focus on the problems minorities face on a day to day basis. The questions and videos that are given only go around the issues that affect minorities. In the videos, the speaker first states that we as a university are all similar because biologically there is only one race, the human race. However, he then continues on in the video saying that we are all different and should accept these differences. So which is it? This particular segment left my class in confusion and did not help us further our conversation, instead it left us analyzing the wording of the question instead of focusing on the main point we should have been discussing: how our backgrounds have uniquely shaped each of our futures. By telling us that all of our experiences are synonymous with each other is a lie. They are what makes each of us unique, and by lumping the minority experiences into the wider narrative, Moreau fails to address the fact that not everyone is a part of the Notre Dame prestige narrative. What would have helped is video describing daily micro-aggressions or why minorities protest police brutality and how these topics have affected the viewpoints of both professors and students alike at Notre Dame. This then could be followed by a class conversation where students discuss steps we can each take to make each of our communities more welcoming. Notre Dame prides itself on the belief that they educate both the academic and non-academic side of the student. But in failing to bring up these topics such as the reason African Americans kneel in the NFL or why more minorities are incarcerated at extreme rates Notre Dame fails to educate the entire student. Anyone can see from the news why this education is more important now more than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I love Notre Dame, but after being on campus for five months and seeing the reach of this university, I know my school can do so much better in voicing the minority experience.
Tess Ngochi freshman Dec. 1