Four Views and an Occasional Point
BY: Kate Rowland
As part of my ongoing effort to increase the number of deadlines in my life, I have obtained a position as a Viewpoint columnist. One thing sort of scares me about this: getting the job done would require me to, every week, invent and submit an 800-word-long column containing, presumably, both a view and point. The view I can always manage to crank out. The point I'm not so sure.
There is another thing I'm a little worried about, too. It has not escaped my attention that being a Viewpoint columnist is an excellent way to receive mail. By mail I mean nasty letters from people who disagree with me about important issues that will appear in this very spot.
My goal in this first column is to conquer both fears. I would like to lay as many views and points on the table as I possibly can so I can get them out quickly before I forget them. This will also allow disagreeing souls to get their harshly worded letters out of their systems now, too, so they won't have to worry about it later when it's midterm week and they have five exams, three papers and a subtly threatening letter to write to a harmless Viewpoint columnist.
So, in an effort to forgo them this stressful time, I now present my major views and, if I'm lucky, a point or two.
View #1: Homosexuals are people too.
Point #1: We should have a non-discrimination clause that protects homosexuals. We should have an open, University-recognized gay and lesbian group, and this group should certainly be allowed to advertise in The Observer like any other campus group. Virtually every other Catholic university in the United States has a non-discrimination-against-homosexuals clause. We need to admit that we are behind the times and pass the clause. It will show the world that we truly are Christians.
View #2: Muffet McGraw needs to coach the football team.
Point #2: Well, maybe not exactly her. But a Muffet McGraw equivalent, someone with personality and coaching skills who builds and maintains her team, should lead the Irish to the gridiron. The women's basketball team is amazing, and we should support them more than we do. But having an equally amazing football team would make a lot of people happy — not just the University accountants and administration, but a bunch of elderly men who remember the Rockne days and a bunch of '88 grads who want to prove to their eight- and nine-year-old children that Notre Dame is justifiably known for having a good team.
View #3: The time for co-ed dorms has come.
Point #3: It's just true. I love my dorm, and I know that it would be a lot harder to be a woman on this campus if I did not live with such a supportive group of people. However, gender relations here bite, and co-ed dorms are one way to help ease the gender tensions (so are co-ed mud wrestling meets, but I don't think mentioning that would make the University take me any more seriously).
Several years ago, it was suggested by student government that co-ed dorms be tried on a one-year basis. Under this proposal, 100 screened seniors would be allowed to live in a dorm that would be co-ed by floor. The proposal was rejected.
Does the University realize we are not trying to get permission for second-semester freshmen to live in co-ed rooms? This is happening on other campuses. We are trying for the chance to resolve some of the macho/damsel stereotypes that men and women here hold of themselves and of each other. Having co-ed halls would change a lot of wonderful traditions, but it would also change a lot of damaging traditions. RecSports teams would probably be forced to change, but at the reasonable cost of allowing us to seeing members of the opposite sex as more than a chance for a hook-up.
View #4: Women should be ordained.
Point #4: Not all women, just the ones interested in becoming priests. Until the Church decides to do this, it needs to stop whining about the priest shortage. Look at it like this: let's say you go whining to your mother that you want some apple juice. She says, "There's a bottle in the 'fridge, go pour yourself some." You go to the refrigerator and encounter a bottle of juice. You are not justified in then whining that you want your juice from a plastic bottle and not a glass bottle. You are being petty and ridiculous. You are being even more petty and ridiculous if you are a 2000-year-old religion and you are whining that you want your priests in testosterone-filled XY bottles instead of estrogen-filled XX bottles.
I could go on. I probably will. I have a year of entertaining you all week-in and week-out to work in all my views and the occasional point. However, I think these four views are enough to keep those hyper-conservatives busy for awhile.
To those of you who are more moderate, more tolerant, I look forward to spending this time with you every other week. To those of you who fall into the hyper-conservative category, I hope to hear from you soon!
Something tells me I will.
Kate Rowland is a senior pre-med and Spanish major. Her column appears every other Monday.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, August 30, 1999