Seen and Heard Around Campus

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

At the pep rally the night before the Nebraska game, hyper hoops analyst and Notre Dame enthusiast Dick Vitale predicted a win for the Irish if the team could just give it all they had “for 40 minutes.” That might work for the basketball Irish, but a college football game is 60 minutes long. Then again, 60 minutes wouldn’t have done it either. The Irish lost to the then-top-ranked Cornhuskers 27-24 in overtime. . . . Seemingly more upsetting to students than the loss to Nebraska was seeing acres of red in Notre Dame Stadium. It appeared that many people had sold their tickets to Nebraska supporters, who came decked in the red and white school colors. It was the first regular-season meeting of Notre Dame and Nebraska since 1948, and tickets reportedly were going for as much as a thousand dollars apiece on the Internet auction sites. . . . No connection here, but the Mendoza College of Business has begun offering MBA tracks in e-commerce, e-consulting and e-entrepreneurship. . . . In the early morning hours after the home football game against Stanford October 7, a fire started in the circular candelabra at the front of the Grotto. As often happens when all the candle holders are full, visitors planted candles in the sand pans designed to catch dripping wax. Eventually the pooled wax and wooden tapers (the long sticks used to light the jar-style candles) ignited. A passer-by called the campus fire department. No damage or injuries resulted, but the candelabra were put in storage for the rest of the football season as a precaution. . . . On a sad note, junior Brionne Clary from Tyler, Texas, didn’t make it back to campus this fall. Shortly before the start of the semester she was rediagnosed with leukemia, which she had battled in high school. She died in September from complications of the disease. An engineering major, she was 20 . . . . Leaders of the sophomore class, some members of which were unhappy with the administration’s decision last year to discontinue Sophomore Sibs Weekend because of low participation, have replaced the event with a class ball. Similar to a high school prom, the first sophomore ball will be held at South Bend’s Century Center in late March. . . . In the presidential election, The Observer endorsed Al Gore. The Scholastic didn’t endorse anyone. . . . The conversion of room 117 Cushing from an auditorium into a high-tech combination classroom and laboratory with computer workstations means Movies in Cushing has become Movies in DeBartolo. The flicks are shown in DeBartolo’s big auditorium, room 101. . . . In October Finnigan’s Irish Pub on East Wayne Street became the third South Bend watering hole in three years to be found admitting and serving underage Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students. The raid caught 147 minors. Their criminal punishments involved mostly fines and community service. The Finnigan’s raid followed similar actions at Bridget McGuire’s Filling Station and the Irish Connection in 1998. Both of those institutions lost their liquor licenses. The prosecutor in the Finnigan’s case said he has offered a deal that would let the bar’s owners escape harsher penalties if they pleaded guilty, paid a fine and sold their liquor license to new owners. . . . The battle for hearts and minds on campus on the issue of homosexuality continues, and not always in a civil fashion. In early November leaders of the national group Courage, which supports homosexuals who wish to follow official Catholic Church teaching and lead a chaste life, were invited to campus to give a talk. Organizers of the event put up posters all around campus, but someone removed them from the walls of O’Shaughnessy Hall and other buildings, said junior Nathaniel Hannan, a member of the Notre Dame’s Knights of Columbus Council 1477, one of the sponsors of the talk. Hannan also said torn-up posters were tacked to the door of his room in Dillon Hall. More than 100 people attended the talk, including many rainbow-armband-wearing members of the gay and lesbian student group OutreachND, said Hannan, who added that everyone listened respectfully. . . . Notre Dame is listed 19th in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of national universities. The University has been 17th, 18th or 19th every year since 1994. In specific category rankings, U.S. News had ND tied for 21st in undergraduate business education and tied for 44th in undergraduate engineering education among doctorate-granting institutions. . . . Speaking of rankings, nearly a third of the 1,959 students enrolled in this year’s freshman class graduated first, second, third, fourth, or fifth in their high school class. . . . One of the more enduring stereotypes around campus is that a top priority of Saint Mary’s students is to attract Notre Dame men. A T-shirt produced this past fall by the Saint Mary’s Junior Class Board couldn’t have done anything to persuade people otherwise. The shirt featured a familiar photo of a young boy kissing a young girl while a second girl looks on in-tight lipped anger. The pictured had been altered so that the boy and the furious onlooker both sported “ND” monograms. On the dress of the object of the boy’s affection was the French cross emblem of the women’s college. The caption read, “SMC 2002. GIRL OF CHOICE.” After the shirts were printed, the Saint Mary’s Board of Governance, composed mostly of student officers, decided to buy out the entire inventory to prevent their distribution. Adding to the embarrassment was that this all happened on the eve of the college’s Pride Week, launched four years ago in the wake of an infamous letter to the editor of The Observer. In the letter two Notre Dame sophomore women called Saint Mary’s students “parasites” for using Notre Dame facilities and stealing Notre Dame men. . . . On the NBC drama The West Wing, Martin Sheen plays President Josiah Bartlet, a Democrat, Catholic and loyal Notre Dame alum. On an episode last November he made his press secretary wear a Fighting Irish cap and distribute copies of the Victory March to the press corps aboard Air Force One after she ridiculed the football team. . . . The second attempt at revising the football ticket distribution system didn’t prove much more popular with students than the first. Many still long for the former system, ended in 1998, which consisted of an all-night sidewalk camp-out and usually necessitated an all-day cleanup. Student Activities has sought to keep the spirit and fun of the camp-out alive, and this fall’s Kickoff 2000 featured a picnic at Stepan Center. Students of all classes lined up and were given lottery stickers to place on their ticket applications. A drawing at the end of the night determined who received the first positions in line for the actual ticket sale later in the week. Many students complained that this process was confusing and time-consuming because they now had to wait in line on two days (to get numbers and to buy tickets). Many seem to feel that if they cannot participate in the traditional camp-out, they would just as soon order the tickets through the mail. . . . Any alumni involved with a student group in the 1990s will remember the name Joe Cassidy, director of student activities. He resigned his post this past summer after 13 years to become director of the Colis (student) Center at Dartmouth. In his last official act, Cassidy established a special student award honoring Sister Jean Lenz, OSF, ‘67M.Th., assistant vice president for student affairs. . . . Students with forgetful roommates no longer have to worry that they are not getting their phone messages. The University has given campus residents a new choice of voice mail. Each student has an individual voice mail box and code. But some students still aren’t happy. When they see the message light flashing they don’t know if the message is for them or a roommate. Voice mail debuted in the dorms in 1993. . . . Knowing how some students feel about eating meal after meal in the dining halls, it may have surprised readers of The Observer to see an ad for the Italian restaurant Francesco’s in Mishawaka proudly declare, “Francesco was a chef at ND for 30 years.”