Here at Notre Dame, we pride ourselves in a diverse student body where fellow students encourage diversity and self-expression. Talking to two students, Pat and Katie, I delved into the true spirit of diversity at Notre Dame
What religion are you?
Pat: “Roman Catholic”
Do you find that the majority of the student body here is Catholic?
P: “Yeah, but I’ve definitely encountered a wide variety of other religions that Notre Dame is extremely tolerant towards.”
Can you give me some examples?
P: “Well, I’ve met Christians who aren’t even Catholic-anything from non-denominational to Lutheran. We have a pretty diverse religious student body.”
How about other religions beyond Christianity? Do you know any students who practice Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc…?
P: “Well, I’ve heard from the news and stuff that those religions exist, but honestly I don’t know too many people at Notre Dame who are from those faiths. Probably because people here know the facts that Christianity is the only logical religion.”
Does Notre Dame, as a school that promotes student spirituality, offer any other religious services if students of other faiths do attend Notre Dame?
P: “Why would they? Catholicism is the only religion that matters here.”
Ok, next question then. Do you know any atheists?
How do Catholic students at Notre Dame, such as yourself, respond to students who don’t believe in a god?
P: “Well, first of all, there is a God. That’s a known fact. Clearly, these atheists are uneducated. I try to force them to go to mass with me. Usually they say no, but obviously they’re possessed by the devil or something, so I try not to be too hard on them, since I know those sacrilegious souls will be spending eternity in hell.”
Do you find there is diversity within the student body in regards to race and ethnicity at Notre Dame?
Katie: “Yes, of course. I’ve definitely seen a black person here before.”
That wasn’t the question.
K: “I’m pretty sure it was.”
Let me rephrase: do you find yourself being exposed to different racial and ethnical points of view here at Notre Dame from students who are racially or ethnically different from yourself?
K: “Oh. Well, I mean I don’t think race or ethnicity would provide too different of a viewpoint from any other student because Notre Dame is colorblind.”
But don’t you think that’s not necessarily true sometimes? People often notice race and ethnicity that can cause people of different races and ethnicities to have different experiences from others.
K: “I mean me personally, I don’t notice race or ethnicity. One time I talked to this guy next to me in class who was black and I didn’t even notice it.”
Notre Dame has often been critiqued for its lack of diversity and mostly white student body. Do you find this to be the general consensus among fellow students?
K: “I guess you could say it’s been mentioned, once or twice, that there’s a lot of white people here, but I really don’t see the problem with that. There’s really no difference between races or ethnicities, so you shouldn’t be upset if only one is represented. I mean, yeah you aren’t exposed to “different points of view” but I’ve learned a lot of stuff from white people, so it’s ok.”
There are other races and ethnicities here at Notre Dame besides students who are black, the only race you’ve mentioned thus far. Have you heard of any racial or ethnical experiences they’ve encountered?
K: “I try not to ask because talking about it makes me extremely uncomfortable because I’m obviously not racist, but I guess there may not be that much diversity at Notre Dame. Don’t worry though. Notre Dame is totally about making the campus more diverse. It sends out surveys and stuff, asking students how they feel about diversity in general.”
Have you seen an increase, then, as a senior, in these last few years of a more racially and ethnically diverse student body?
K: “Again, I’m colorblind, so I can’t say because I don’t notice stuff like that.”
At Notre Dame, are students generally aware of the difference between gender and sex?
Pat: “Gender is if you’re a boy or a girl, and sex is what you do after you get married to make babies.”
I’m sorry, let me clarify: do you know the difference between gender identity and biological sex?
P: “I’ve heard rumors about this nonsense, but I’m sticking with my first answer.”
Are students often accepting of others who identify with a gender different from their biological sex?
P: “Well, that’s a sin against nature, so I’m assuming no.”
Can you elaborate why it’s a “sin”?
P: “It’s not technically in the Bible I guess, but a lot of old white men told me it was wrong and they generally tend to be honest, fair and tell the truth, so I believe them. Plus, since multiple old white men told me this, I feel as though I’ve got a well-rounded perspective on the matter.”
Is it safe to assume that you don’t support fellow students who choose to undergo a sex change operation?
P: “That’s against nature! That is a surgery against nature!”
What about other surgeries that help people? Aren’t those “unnatural” as well?
P: “That’s different.”
P: “I don’t need to explain myself to you.”
Do you find there is gender equality at Notre Dame?
P: “Completely. Men are completely equal to women here.”
No discrepancies at all?
P: “As part of the male population, sweetheart, I can assure you there is not. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”
Notre Dame has only recently allowed an LGBT+ group to form here at Notre Dame. Do you find that this reluctance towards the acceptance the LGBT+ community is reflected in the student body?
Katie: “I have a gay friend, and to be honest, I don’t mind the fact that he’s gay.”
You say you “don’t mind,” but do you actively support the LGBT+ community?
K: “I have a gay friend. How much more do you want me to do?”
Do other students support the LGBT+ community?
K: “I think some people might get weird about it because they’ve told me they think the entire LGBT community is going to hell.”
Do you think your friend is going to hell?
K: “Of course. It says so in the Bible.”
The Bible also indicates slavery is ok.
K: “To be honest, I don’t really remember the slavery part, but slavery is bad. They should really think about editing that part. I know that the gay thing is in there though.”
Pat, how do you feel about the LGBT+ community at Notre Dame?
P: “I think I’m pretty accepting. I’ve done gay things before. One time I complimented a guy on his shirt, but it’s ok because I said “no homo” after.”
That’s…not how you use the word gay, and I won’t comment on the second half of that answer. Do you know any openly “out” at Notre Dame?
P: “I know of people, both men and women. They’re going to end up in hell, so I avoid them.”
How is being openly “out” typically received by the student body at Notre Dame?
P: “A decent amount of people are OK with it, but we try not to talk about it too much.”
Thank you both so much for your time.
*This article is satirical in nature*