Parietals supporters need a taste of reality
So, several times over I've been told that if I don't like it here, I can leave. I've even been called a "bug-brain" by a senile old 1962 Notre Dame alumnus. Well, now it's my turn, but I think I'll pose the attack a little differently.
If you want, like, or support parietals, I don't care if you do like it here, you need to go home to your mother right now and give her a hug.
You need to stay there, nestled in her comforting bosom, until you are ready to come back out here with the rest of us big kids and start living in reality. I came here to interact and learn with a group of independent, intellectual, mature peers. Apparently you came here for kindergarten. This is a college, not pre-school. I don't want you here; you don't want to be here. In fact, chances are both you and your mother wish you were in your comforting, familiar hometown, under her loving wing. Make us all happy — go home.
This campus is enragingly conservative. You know, you can question authority — it is possible. Just because the rule has always been one way, doesn't mean it has to stay that way. What was once a smoothing policy to ease the introduction of the "wretched and to-be-avoided, yet money-wielding and thus acceptable" females to campus has become an embarrassing testimony to your complacence and social immaturity.
But what am I saying? You all agree with me, right? I mean, clearly no college age student would consider mandatory gender separation to be a reasonable policy in this age of equal sexes and respect for individuals, right? Oops, how wrong of me, in so many ways. First, equal sexes here at Notre Dame? Yeah right, ask a tenured female professor — if you can find one.
Next, respect for individuals? You needn't look further than our esteemed Office of Student Affairs to see precisely the importance of respect for individual students. But this is beside the point.
The real issue is that about half the students on campus don't agree with me at all. Half of the people you know actually want parietals. Worse than simply being denied an opportunity to grow as a person, they actually request the stagnation of their personal development. Staggering information to any liberated human being indeed.
Armed with excuses like, "It's so convenient that I don't have to worry about my roommate hooking up with his girlfriend every night," or "I like the feeling of privacy and gender community," these super-conservative sissies hold hostage what semblance of the real world can be generated on this campus. What in God's name are these people going to do when they graduate? (Please avoid the obvious conclusions: "Return home" and "Live off their parents' wealth.")
You know the truth. I don't like these people. I don't want to live next door to them when they graduate. I don't want to work at the same office as them. I don't want to have to do the job of raising them from their slightly post-pubescent maturity to that of a real, functioning adult, nor do I want to be nearby during their shock-initiation to adult life.
So my solution is that they leave, and leave now. They can take a leave of absence — they're free to return when they are no longer sucklings. There will still be a place for them.
Most frustrating of all of this is that I honestly don't believe parietals supporters to be unintelligent. I think that just like most Notre Dame students, they're some of the brightest in the country. Their intrinsic judgment flaws come in a few standard forms, about which I will elaborate.
First of these is extreme conservativism, of which I'm sure we have more than a fair representation on campus. This leads the afflicted to nearly always accept the status quo as being the best option simply because it is the current option, or simply because "it's worked so far." This reasoning is flawed. Ask imperial England.
The other common ideological flaw is authoritarianism, my most hated political philosophy, the ethos of tyrants. These bastions of intelligence believe that simply because it is the rule of those in charge, the rule should stand. Included in this group are those who claim that the University will lose some sort of "private-ness" or will be giving in to the outside influences if it changes its policy. Wake up people, no one but Notre Dame students knows about or cares about parietals. There's no outside pressure. Find a real argument. Something like, oh, "I'm sad and I miss my mommy."
In closing, if you're extremely conservative, authoritarian, a senile old man, bitter or a parietals supporter catching yourself writing a response about how immature I myself am for writing this very column and the manner in which it was constructed, you can be assured, I don't care. If you're writing about ageism for my application of the adjective "senile" to a 62 year old, I call your attention to the term "bug-brain."
John Litle is a senior MIS major who is hoping you're reading with enough of a light heart that you can see his humor and his point. If not, he's sure you're enraged, which is good. His column runs every other Friday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Monday, November 25, 2002