Woke Dorms?


.@NotreDame woke say parietals “protect white, cis-heteronormative hegemony,” and is “an institutional attack against womxn, gender nonnconforming students and the poor.” Huh? #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

In our last bulletin we reported that one of the goals of Student Government’s new Director of Gender Relations is “PARIETALS ‘reform’ (REMOVAL).” Within a few days, some 30 students conducted a sit-in in a men’s dormitory between 2 and 5 a.m. in support of that demand until they finally left under threat of expulsion. 

For an account of this episode, see The Observer. The protesters said they “plan to continue the sit-ins within a few days.” Indeed, in a letter in today’s Observer, they announce they will target an unnamed residence hall tomorrow and they invite other students to join them. The letter discloses that Anne Jarrett, the Student Government Director of Gender Relations featured in our last bulletin, is a member of the group.

The Stanford Hall residents have been warned about “discriminatory harassment” of the protesters and are being investigated by the ND Police for “biased slurs.”

The protesters demands extend beyond ending parietals. They include “Decolonize Academia” and “Decolonize This Land,” so that, for example, “the violence of colonialism and Catholic evangelization that led to Notre Dame’s existence” would be recognized.

In our current bulletin, we reproduce, with permission of The Observer, a “Viewpoint” article from its pages by a leader of the sit-in protesters.

Prepare yourselves for introduction to the world of the “woke” and its unique vocabulary in which, for example, “womxn” is not a misspelling but serves to “sever ties to the patriarchy” by getting rid of “men” and, by substituting “x” for “e,” “allows space for individuals who identify as genderfluid, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, or non-binary.” (For straight anti-patriarchal females, it is “womyn.”)

(Stick with Sycamore Trust for continuing education in modern languages.)

The essayist acknowledges that, as a “cisgender queer student,” he is “unjustly empowered” by parietals because he can “walk into my dorm with my significant other at any hour of the day.” But he joins others to protest “Notre Dame’s choice to institutionalize sexism, trans-exclusion, queerphobia, and classism through parietals.”

“We are approaching a watershed moment in Notre Dame’s history,” he declares. To see why parietals threaten to sink Notre Dame, read on.


Parietals criminalize gender itself, but we already knew that

Letter to the Editor | Monday, November 18, 2019

On Sunday morning, a number of students gathered in Stanford Hall to protest hatred on campus. As one of those students, I hoped to stand in solidarity with the victims of racist and queerphobic targeted violent speech. I was proud of the protest organizers, who acknowledged the role that parietals play in perpetuating sexism and queerphobia at Notre Dame. And as I sat on the floor of Stanford Hall, I couldn’t help but notice a disheartening power dynamic: While the protestors –– predominantly womxn of color and queer students –– sat silently, many Stanford Hall residents slammed their doors and walked through the hallway wearing nothing but boxers. The intentions of these men seemed clear enough to me: Through aggressive expositions of masculinity, Stanford residents hoped to intimidate their peers.

As time passed, NDPD took increasingly adverse action to break up the protest. While the officers seemed to be sympathetic during my brief stay at the protest, they were required to punish students for violating parietals. As The Observer reported, “At 4:15 a.m., [officers warned that] the University administration was prepared to invoke emergency procedures and protestors would be summarily expelled if they did not leave, citing security risks.” 

If you think such a citation is ridiculous, then you are in good company. We find ourselves in a situation in which students risk expulsion — an absurd and disproportionate punishment — simply for protesting an already absurd policy. 

See, the implication of NDPD’s involvement and their citation is that a silent, peaceful protest composed primarily of marginalized people is dangerous. We must ask: What danger did the peaceful protesters pose? The only thing that was threatened by the protest was a white, cis-heternormative hegemony. Parietals are the University’s primary means of protecting this hegemony.

As a cisgender queer student, I am essentially unburdened by parietals. I am free to walk into my dorm with my significant other at any hour of the day. I am free to enter and stay in his dorm as well. My status as a white cis-male means that parietals unjustly empower me even further; officers and University staff are more likely to let me move throughout “male” spaces unquestioned. 

I am not the first student to speak out against parietals. Notre Dame students (primarily womxn) have been doing so for decades. One need only search “parietals” on The Observer’s website to see powerful testimony about the dangers of the practice. Experts explain that these “kind of environments are more likely to lead to increased rates of sexual assault.” 

Neither am I the first student to use the language of criminality to describe our University’s approach to gender relations. We already know what parietals are: an institutional attack against womxn, gender non-conforming students and the poor. For gender non-conforming students, parietals mean exclusion from safer spaces after certain hours. Furthermore, wealthy students may avoid parietals altogether. I have heard men brag about “taking girls to their off-campus apartment” — a luxury that only the very rich have. For those of us who do not have multiple places of residence in South Bend, parietals are unavoidable.

Notre Dame’s choice to institutionalize sexism, trans-exclusion, queerphobia and classism through parietals is nothing short of reprehensible. The longer this issue is drawn out, the longer Notre Dame positions itself as a proponent of a white, cis-heteronormative hegemony. We are approaching a watershed moment in Notre Dame’s history: We may choose to abolish parietals and take a tangible step towards disarming sexual assaulters, misogynists, queerphobes and trans-exclusionists, or we may remain complacent in our exclusion. The choice seems clear to me.

David Phillips 
Nov. 17

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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17 Responses to “Woke Dorms?”

  1. The University’s (Jenkins’s) weak lack of action and acceptance policies fuel this type of behavior. It is a complete disgrace and embarrassing to alumni. I was the president of the College Republicans for 2 years while on campus and it was astonishing how much BS conservative religious or political groups had to deal with.

    Jenkins fought for the right no not provide birth control then backed off when it was successful. No difference here- inability to stand up for what’s right and acknowledge an objective version of right and wrong.

  2. “Behold, The Cross, Our Only Hope.”

    “The tree of the Cross has been planted where our worthy religious dwell … But these religious have learned to savor its life-giving fruits, and if God in his goodness preserves them in the admirable dispositions which they have chosen thus far, they will never taste death, for the fruits of the cross are the same as those of the tree of life which was planted in the Garden of Paradise.” —Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C.

    “It is bold to claim that the Cross of Christ is our hope. It is even bolder to believe and live the Cross as our only hope. Yet we in the Congregation of Holy Cross profess this truth as the center of our spiritual tradition. Our motto is: Ave Crux, Spes Unica — Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope! And for 175 years, we have worked to bring the hope of the Cross to schools, universities, parishes and other ministries on five continents of the globe.”

    To profess this Truth, “Ave Crux, Spes Unica”, one must believe in The Life-affirming and Life-sustaining Power and Glory of Salvational Love, Poured Forth From The Cross for all those who desire to repent and accept God’s Gift Of Grace And Mercy.

  3. There is nothing more offensive to gender then the sexual objectification of the human person which denies the inherent Dignity of being, in essence, a beloved son or daughter.

    Accepting God’s Universal Call to Holiness, which serves for The Common Good, requires that we not engage in demeaning sexual acts of any nature because in every case, demeaning sexual acts deny the inherent Dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter.

    Regardless of the actors or the actor’s desire/inclination/orientation, including if the actors be a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife, sexual sin is sexual sin, and all sexual sin, denies the Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament Of Holy Matrimony, which is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife, and thus denies the fact, that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage.

    While there are those that may try to argue that the desire to engage in a demeaning sexual act if consensual and “private”, changes the essence of the demeaning nature of the act, this would be a lie from the start.
    We can know through both our Catholic Faith and reason, that Love, which is always rightly ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love, is devoid of lust.

    “1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121
    1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125

    “For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles.”

    To promote and condone sexual sin at our beloved University Of Notre Dame, would be to deny The Divinity Of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Who, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage. To deny the very essence, and Divinity of The Ordered Communion Of Perfect Complementary Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, is Apostasy.

    Dear Blessed Mother, Mary, Destroyer Of All Heresy, Who Through your Fiat, affirmed The Filioque, and the fact that there Is Only One Begotten Son Of God, One Word Of God Made Flesh, One Lamb Of God Who Can Take Away The Sins Of The World, Our Only Savior, Jesus The Christ, Thus There Can Only Be One Spirit Of Perfect Love Between The Father And The Son, Who Must Proceed From Both The Father And The Son, In The Ordered, Communion Of Perfect Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Hear our Prayers.

    To Love one another as Christ Loves us, is to desire Salvation for one’s beloved. No Greater Love Is There Than This.The Sacrifice Of The Cross Is The Sacrifice Of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity.

  4. David Phillips and his fellow travelers are to be pitied. They are delusional and highly confused individuals with immense psycho-sexual pathologies who apparently do not enjoy the graces of a rich spiritual life. They are in need of help that cannot be found in a University setting.

    However, the University entertaining and enabling such “woke”, hateful bigotry is injurious to the student body at large and is counterproductive to preparing these troubled students for a successful, happy life. As such, it is injurious to the nation and the world writ large which will not benefit from their contributions. The Administration is responsible for assuring the best outcome for its students. Fr. Jenkins’ fostering a bizarre, anti-Catholic atmosphere on an allegedly Catholic University is baffling and….wrong.

  5. Students at Our Lady’s University should be instructed completely in gender theory, which can be found, in its entirety, in the book of Genesis.
    Also, teaching the alphabet should hardly be required but must be needed. It actually goes from A to Z and does not begin with L.
    Unfortunately, the Administration has neither the will nor the courage to stand for the timeless truth of Catholic teaching.

  6. I feel sorry for ND students who have to live in the dorms with and shower with sexual deviants who are so aggressive in demanding public acceptance of their perversions. Perhaps, along with football tickets, soap on a rope should be provided to all male students who have to group shower for gym.
    As Catholics at a Catholic University can’t we make open displays of sexual perversion on campus grounds for expulsion? …. perhaps even for health reason since homosexual activity causes aids and other dread diseases? The reality of what these people do to each other in the name of lovemaking is revolting and disgusting.

  7. Full disclosure: I did not read the entire Observer (Absurder?) article. I got as far as the author-activist’s claim that expulsion was a disproportionate punishment for violating parietals in this fashion, at which point my disgust with the childish entitlement mentality of the author brought me to a screeching halt. Beyond the obvious question of why someone who feels he/she/zhe (or what have they) would be oppressed a Catholic institution would then chose to attend there anyway (a privilege few manage to win), joining forces to progressively destroy the fundamental values of that same institution is certainly a serious offense worthy of dismissal. These students are not just violating parietals, and it is disingenuous of them to claim so. Essentially, these students are engaging in an act of moral terrorism that did not begin with and will not end with the issue of parietals. Unless the university is prepared to jettison its Catholic identity entirely, it cannot afford to let this kind of manufactured, pseudo-grievance-based idiocy continue unchecked. Simple solution: This is what the University stands for. That is why it is called a Catholic institution. If you can’t accept that, leave.

  8. Part audacious, part incoherent, part absurd, the letter written by David Phillips manages to achieve this strange trifecta. Outraged and unhappy, perhaps he should be studying elsewhere. What made him ever think he would be happy at the University of Our Lady? Unless, of course, he is, as others have suggested, nothing more than an activist who thinks that by braying loudly enough he will go down in Notre Dame history as the one who was instrumental in taking down parietals.

  9. Bob Griffin ‘57 November 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Notre Dame should amend admission requirements to remind those admitted to recognize Notre Dame is a Catholic University,while non Catholics can be admitted, any student undermining the tenets of Catholicism will be expelled

  10. Its all well & good for people like me (56 yrs old) to gripe about this stuff – the students who are against such things need to be encouraged to speak out, supported when they do, etc

  11. Kevin Callahan ‘05 November 20, 2019 at 11:57 am

    As mentioned in other comments above, it is difficult to understand why Mr. Phillips chose to attend Notre Dame. While it is our Catholic obligation to love all, that obligation extends to sharing the truth. Hard as it is to hear, what Mr. Phillips wants is contrary to our faith.

    I do believe that part of the problem here is the lack of response by the current ND Administration, in particular Fr. Jenkins, to other situations, such as the violent signs and videos of several weeks ago, Unfortunately, Fr. Jenkins was just re-appointed to another term, which does not bode well.

    We must pray for all involved, and also stay courageous to the truth.

  12. Are there Wokes groups at Indiana U.,Ball St, and Trine? I doubt it. The only conclusion I can make is that they are at ND to attack its Christian foundation and foster their own disruptive agenda.

    • Father Jenkins and his ilk have brought this on by their gradual and systematic rejection of Notre Dame’s Catholicity. Indeed, the choice is very clear at this moment – Catholic University? Or not?

  13. Just after reading this, the next item in my e-mail inbox included the following:

    “Love does not make unnecessary the fulfillment of God’s commandments, but is their deepest form of fulfillment. The commandments are not external prescriptions, which promise reward to those who fulfill them and threaten punishment to those who fail to observe them. Instead, they are the revelation of God’s salvific design, indicating to us the way of his love.”
    —Gerhard Cardinal Müller
    from The Power of Truth

    I’m completely at a loss as to where even to begin to respond to these “woke” students’ upside-down view of themselves and the world. I doubt they came to their views as a result of the quest for knowledge and truth. They have been groomed and brainwashed, either by parents or, more likely, their elementary and secondary teachers and professors: “…it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck”.

    Mr. Phillips chose to attend Our Lady’s university, though he likely had other options. I wonder why he chose to go to Notre Dame? Given the failure of Notre Dame to stand for Catholic faith and reason, and athwart the culture, is it any it finds itself embroiled in this and similar battles?

    Mary (Doherty) Galla, ’91

  14. Richard Maggi, Esq. '73 November 20, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Notre Dame opened itself to such nonsense the minute it permitted gay clubs on campus. The gay/LBBTQ community does not seek mere respect. There is clearly an agenda to reshape God’s creative design. Notre Dame has to reject this agenda and not succumb to this pressure.

    It should be in the forefront of educating its students on God’s creative design so that its students are prepared to confront the infiltration of this evil into our culture.

  15. Aquinas Lawrence (pen name) November 20, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Notre Dame should make it clear why it was founded and what it stands for. “Notre Dame” (“Our Lady”) is a Catholic university which was established as such. Those who hate the Catholic faith and what it teaches would be much happier at a different university where they would be free to create their own languages and live according to their own values. They have no right or authority to demand that Notre Dame must conform itself to their views and values. If Notre Dame caves into this cultural bullying, it should change its name and drop its claim to be a Catholic institution.

  16. As the PROUD Male Father of Caucasian, Heterosexual graduate of Notre Dame, I believe the “Wokes” at Notre Dame should take their Circus of the Absurd elsewhere. The sooner the better.

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