Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#96: Getting indignant

Notre Dame Students spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing issues that impact their campus, country, and world.  In their thoughts and discussions about these issues, Notre Dame Students grow to care deeply about them (or, they at least pretend to care deeply about them).  Not only do they care about these issues, but Notre Dame Students formulate strong opinions about them and usually try to convince their fellow students to share their opinions.  Yet when something happens that goes against a student’s opinion on an issue, they will get indignant.

On campus, Notre Dame Students get indignant about a lot of issues ranging from the comical to the serious.  Many of these issues are based in Catholic social teaching and students' attempts to show they are more Catholic than other students (see #4).  Notre Dame Students get indignant about Barack Obama’s commencement speech and the issue of abortion (2009), they get indignant about the Gay Film Festival (2006-2007), they get indignant about Christopher Hitchins (2010), and they constantly get indignant about the University’s refusal to pay dining hall workers a living wage (1990-2050, and probably longer).

To deal with their indignation, Notre Dame Students do everything that they possibly can do while only minimizing their time investment in such efforts.  Students will write strongly worded Viewpoint letters (see #71) that attack the University or the offending party for doing something they deem to be incredibly offensive and insulting.  To protest, they will join Facebook groups that have no power or influence whatsoever.  If they want to show that they are strongly indignant about something, they might even organize protests or demand to meet with Fr. Jenkins (a demand that is rarely met).

Students also get indignant about campus issues that aren’t as serious as those based in Catholic social teaching, but are rather based in a student’s personal convictions about societal norms and what Notre Dame means to them.  Students get indignant about how The Shirt fits them (see #2), they get indignant about police using horses at tailgates, they get indignant about the lack of $5 footlongs at the campus Subway, and they get indignant about the musical stylings of Freekbass.  While none of these things have their genesis in religion or a moral system, they are still important sources of indignation for Notre Dame Students.

Beyond the Notre Dame Bubble, there are a lot of things that Notre Dame Students have an opportunity to get indignant about.  While many of these things are similar to the campus issues that cause indignation stemming from Catholic social teaching, Notre Dame Students get even more indignant about things that happen on a national or international scale.  By far, the area that creates the most indignation amongst Notre Dame Students is the continent of Africa (see #1).  Notre Dame Students get indignant about the problems in Darfur, they get indignant about the prevalence of AIDS across the continent, and they get indignant about the simple lack of development and infrastructure in various countries.  To soothe their indignation about these issues, Notre Dame Students travel to Africa and do research for their theses.

Overall, Notre Dame Students' indignation shows how much they care about important issues on campus and around the world (or, at the very least, how much they pretend to care about these issues).  These issues will change from year to year, and the students’ methods of response might change, but the indignation will always remain the same.  Even after graduation, Notre Dame Students will continue to get indignant, because the only people who get more indignant than Notre Dame Students are Notre Dame Alumni.

No comments:

Post a Comment