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the case for Crossroads

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:21

http://americamagazine.org/content/ignatian-educator/lessons-crossroads-project-notre-dame

Lessons from Crossroads Project at Notre Dame

Matt Emerson | Feb 3 2014 - 12:41am | 0 comments

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart at University of Notre Dame (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass)
In recent days, as I wrote about last week, the University of Notre Dame announced an extraordinary campus expansion. In what Notre Dame officials are calling “the largest building project in its 172-year history,” the school will add more than 750,000 square feet in three new buildings attached to Notre Dame Stadium. According to the University press release, the $400 million expansion will provide space for a recreation center and career center; the anthropology and psychology departments; a digital media lab; and the Department of Music and the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program. The addition will also provide 3,000 to 4,000 priority seats for football games. The University calls it the “Campus Crossroads Project.”

When I first heard of the University’s intentions, my first reaction was similar to many others, a reflexive “wow” at the magnificence of the project and a marveling at the cost. But it would be a mistake to see the Campus Crossroads project as a mere expansion, as simply another sign of progress at a leading school. In implementing the Crossroads project, Notre Dame is making a dramatic statement about the nature and future of education.

To understand why, one has to understand the landscape of modern education. An array of voices and forces are destabilizing the traditional university model, the model that has sustained Western culture for hundreds of years. This model features a centralized campus uniting academic departments, athletic programs, and all the activities, offices and services that coalesce into a teeming community. It has evolved, today, into the model of large quads, dorm life, and the frenzied gamedays of college sports. It's the "total immersion" model, whereby the learner fully situates him- or herself in an educational community.

It’s the model that still defines college life in the United States, and moving away to such a place stands as one of the few American rituals marking the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

But in the last few years, the Hubble-like reach of the internet has reconfigured the status quo. YouTube and hundreds of other web sites provide cheap, quick and effective ways to gain knowledge. By the time students step foot in high school, many have acquired skills and aptitudes that, ten years ago, would have required thousands of dollars and a college degree. The rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has enabled people from around the world to access lectures and coursework formerly offered only on a specific campus, often at a prohibitive cost. As a result, many wonder whether the classic college experience is necessary. If you can take Introduction to Psychology online for free, why sit in a 100-person lecture hall where the professor doesn't know your name?

Not surprisingly, some look at these developments and conclude the traditional model is heading the way of the VCR. As Nathan Harden wrote in the January-February 2013 issue of The American Interest, “The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs . . .”

Into this milieu, into the winds of this pessimism, comes the bold vision of Notre Dame. Notre Dame is one of the country’s most important Catholic schools. Notre Dame’s decisions influence not only other Catholic colleges, but high schools and primary schools. People look to Notre Dame for what Catholic education is and what it should be. What are some lessons, what are some insights, from Notre Dame’s Crossroads project?

(1) Notre Dame's Crossroads project expresses total confidence in the viability of the residential college system; not necessarily in all residential college systems, but at least in the residential system that Notre Dame offers. Though online learning venues will continue to grow, Notre Dame is not abandoning the merits of being on campus. University officials believe that living and studying at Notre Dame delivers benefits that cannot be gained elsewhere -- and that students will continue to pay for it. Notre Dame is optimistic that students will continue to seek the fellowship and edification that can only be gained in community. This doesn't mean that online alternatives have no value, but it does indicate Notre Dame's belief that there is no substitute for an environment dedicated to a vibrant, consistent pursuit of truth, where scholars from disparate fields regularly converse with one another about the commonalties of their endeavors.

(2) The Campus Crossroads project expresses the classic Catholic belief in the unity of knowledge. In higher education, this truth is by no means assured. In his book God, Philosophy, Universities, philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre observed that in today’s research universities, “the curriculum has increasingly become one composed of an assorted ragbag of disciplines and subdisciplines, each pursued and taught in relative independence of all the others, and achievement within each consists in the formation of the mind of a dedicated specialist.”

While I wouldn't say the Crossroads project solves all of MacIntyre’s concerns, I do think it’s a move toward integration and away from specialization. Notre Dame Stadium will no longer stand in isolation as a cathedral of competition, as something apart from or better than the rest of the University. The football stadium will now be connected to Notre Dame’s Sacred Music program, which will be connected to the psychology and anthropology departments. Notre Dame is making a statement that all of these fields of study relate. Somehow, pads and helmets connect with the notes of a High Mass.

This is pretty remarkable. When hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the Stadium after completion of construction, they will no longer be attending games in a temple of sport. They will be heading, in part, to an academic building, to one that holds study spaces for students and offices for professors. Connecting athletics, academics and spirituality signals to a visitor that Notre Dame football is set against a broader horizon of activity and meaning. Athletics, in other words, is one of many pursuits through which the human being realizes the dignity of his or her creation.

I don't mean to suggest that Notre Dame alone advances these beliefs. I imagine there are other Catholic schools with similar (and equally laudable) projects afoot. But it's really heartening to see an institution as well known as Notre Dame undertake such a prominent, innovative move in service of an on-campus education and the unity of the human experience.

Tags:
crossroads

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oh please

by JD in Portland ⌂, Portland OR, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 18:46 @ Jay

Anyone who looks at this and talks about sacred music but not luxury skyboxes is either being paid by someone or the most hopelessly naive person in the universe.
What I want to see is the proposal that does everything except the skyboxes. As if that would have ever been proposed. Or I'd like to read a credible argument at least that the stadium corporate renovation isn't the driver here and what all this is really about.
The fact that someone actually fell for the sacred music Statue of Liberty play is pretty fucking hilarious.

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Good script, serviceable acting,

by Mike (Max) @, Orlando, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 18:34 @ Jay

a real coming out party for Britney Spears on the big screen.

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About the money...

by Clay, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:00 @ Jay

Why is no one talking about the money? I realize that the University will be spending other people's money for this project, and that the Administration can walk and chew bubble gum, but what is being done about controlling tuition costs? I mean, there's only so much money the school can get out of its donors, right? Is something equally audacious being undertaken to control, freeze, or... gasp... decrease tuition costs so that ND alums can try to further the school's Catholic mission when they graduate instead of just going corporate because they need to pay student loans? This isn't to demean corporate America, but alums should have the choice, right? They shouldn't be forced into a career choice by student loans. So I guess my question is what is the state of tuition, is the school doing something equally audacious to get it under control (I have to think the answer is no, for the simple reason that I haven't heard about and I have heard about stadium expansion), and if not, why not?

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excellent, i have one friend here!

by JD in Portland ⌂, Portland OR, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 18:48 @ Clay

[ No text ]

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American culture is experiencing a student loan bubble

by Geoff, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:53 @ Clay

Universities and colleges across the US have little incentive to decrease tuition costs. This is a money party.

If students cannot afford college, they have access to easy money to pay those bills. Of course, they will be crushed under student loan debt for the rest of their lives.

The current pace is not sustainable.

It is in the best interests of the Federal Govt to expand programs that may alleviate or cancel student loan debt. People my age (early 30s) and younger are postponing marriage, not purchasing homes, living at home with parents, and/or not buying new cars.

An entire generation of Americans are removing themselves from participating in and investing in America. That "extra" money that could be invested in a home or retirement or starting a new business will be going straight to paying student loans for the next 30 years.

Banks are too big to fail. Apparently, students are not.

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It's unbelievable

by Jack @, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:20 @ Geoff

I calculated using the CPI that if ND tuition had gone up by the rate of inflation since I graduated in '79, when tuition first hit 5 grand a year, that my daughter's tuition, room and board in 2009 would be roughly $23,000. Not only was that less than half what the cost of a year at ND was then, it was less than the cost of a year for an in-state student at the University of Illinois, a state land grant school.

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Insane how fast tuition has been rising vis a vis inflation.

by Clay, Friday, February 28, 2014, 08:46 @ Jack

[ No text ]

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Chart Friday!

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Friday, February 28, 2014, 08:56 @ Clay

[image]

[image]

[image]

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this sort of ties back to Savage's post from yesterday

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:18 @ Geoff

http://bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?id=215577

But speaking to Student Loans at large, what are the ways in which this bubble can burst?

1) Graduates default on their student loans en masse. In the case of government loans (like Sallie Mae), the taxpayers foot the bill, right? In that case, the burden is either shouldered with increased taxes or bonds, I suppose. I guess that a mass default on private loans could bring the economy to a halt a la 2008, right?

2) On the other hand, the next generation of college students will give a more skeptical eye to higher education, right? That's already happening at law schools -- application numbers are plummeting. I know even schools like ND are struggling to come close to maintaining their profile. Like Savage suggests, I'm sure a lot of the lower tier schools might even shutter up.

3) Building on 2, the workforce is going to have to rely on workers with a lower education level, right? For 'high skill' jobs, like nursing, I guess you'll see a rise in trade schools.

Essentially, I think you're seeing a real existential threat to the American middle class looming.

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No, what happens is you go to jail

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:46 @ HumanRobot

Sallie Mae won't need to be bailed out because you can't really default since you can't get rid of student loans in bankruptcy. Congress exempted the debt.

They'll just lard on interest until you die in prison. They have actually started trying to put people away for defaulting.

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Well, actually

by CK08, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 17:51 @ HullieAndMikes

you enroll in a 30-year forgiveness programs, make nominal payments for a few decades, and then have the remainder forgiven.

Of course, the forgiven amount is taxable income, but that's the IRS's problem.

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Of course you default, that's how you end up in jail

by JN @, Seattle, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 17:24 @ HullieAndMikes

but I have to think that more and more folks around my age and younger are going to be dying (in prison or otherwise) with more student loan debt than net worth, or at least net worth that Sallie Mae can get their grubby little hands on. So maybe it'll be 25-50 (or more) years from now before there's any impact on Sallie Mae/the Feds, so they don't care.

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if it happens broadly enough

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 17:05 @ HullieAndMikes

Won't Sallie Mae's operating capital eventually run out, whether debtors are defaulting de factor or de jure?

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If there's one strange concept, it's imprisoning debtors

by Jack @, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:53 @ HullieAndMikes

Is it just me or is it rather hard to make money to pay debts if you're in jail?

What am I missing?

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All part of our wishes and unicorn economy

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 17:00 @ Jack

We've been running on fantasy rainbows for a decade and the recession only made it stronger. They'll just take what you get from making license plates or from your Airbnb and Uber runs.

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I heard that. The bubble is clear as day.

by Clay, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:11 @ Geoff

Shouldn't the people in charge of a Catholic institution take some steps to avoid saddling the University's alums with debt like that?

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I think you can add a good 5 years to that age range

by JN @, Seattle, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:07 @ Geoff

Those on the wrong side of 35 are in the same camp. It's ridiculous.

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One the one hand I have no one but myself to blame...

by Clay, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:12 @ JN

But on the other, DAMN. Just damn. Almost a grand a month is a lot.

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That's a good example of this problem

by Geoff, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:26 @ Clay

Another way to consider the problem is that the high tuition costs lead students to chase money by entering careers that do not interest them. All that matters is they might earn a lot of money (that they can use to pay off their student loans).

Your experience is very common. More the rule than the exception. How much longer can this go on until the Federal Govt passes a Student Loan Bail Out? 10 years?

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Student Loan bailout might be a good solution

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:39 @ Geoff

But doesn't the money for that have to come from somewhere? This is probably oversimplifying it, but aren't the options then

1) Tell the banks they're SOL
2) increase taxes (basically redistributing the debt load)
3) covering with bonds. I guess I don't understand macroeconomics very well, but don't that tended to drive more wealth to the elite?

Is there an economist in the house?

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you forgot the most likely answer

by Samari, Bahston, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 21:40 @ HumanRobot

print money and inflate the debt away.

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truth

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Friday, February 28, 2014, 07:08 @ Samari

and that solution is the one that really just inflates the super wealthy's piece of the pie, right?

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Seems like there are some grass roots campaigns for this.

by Clay, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:38 @ Geoff

But no one is addressing my larger (or perhaps narrower) point--why doesn't ND take steps to control tuition? Why is it participating in the bubble? I know we don't have Stanford's billion dollar endowment, but ours ain't nothin to sneeze at either.

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The most recent Planet Money was about the cost of college

by MHB (Rakes of Mallow), Chicago, IL, United States, Earth-199999, Friday, February 28, 2014, 07:07 @ Clay

The issue with lowering tuition, as stated by same guy from Duke, is that colleges that have lowered their tuition/fee prices are seen as providing a lower level of education and that's reflected in the number of applicants/skill of applicants they receive.

Not sure if that's BS but there may be some truth to it.

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Bloated sticker prices...

by Clay, Friday, February 28, 2014, 08:38 @ MHB (Rakes of Mallow)

ND gave me something like $10K a year in university scholarships. I wonder if that was just a concession that the real price is $10k less than the sticker price, though if you can pay the sticker price, you will.

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Nobody has an answer to that question

by CK08, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:44 @ Clay

ND should be making it easier to students to pay. But they haven't done anything concrete yet.

I don't think there's a direct connection between them not doing that and investing in new facilities though. They can and should do both.

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I agree that they can and should do both.

by Clay, Friday, February 28, 2014, 08:46 @ CK08

Don't necessarily agree that they aren't connected. I think the issue is, is the University being a good shepherd of the flock and steward of its resources. You can raise $400 million for luxury boxes, but you're still hiking up tuition at what, 3 times the rate of inflation? 4? I think the issues are related.

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I read the first article...its pretty weak

by crazychester @, Chicago, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 13:51 @ Jay

The first half of the article outlines the headwinds in face of American higher education....got it.

Point 1....[paraphrasing] Notre Dame is building something that appears to be a bet against that. Well, what did you expect, Matt?

Point 2....[again, paraphrasing] collect underpants.

I mean he says nothing here beyond the University's lame justifications.

This is a big shiny box store out by the interstate....its going to be big and clean and great. And then 5 years later you cant figure out why the reset of campus is a figurative abandoned main street.

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That's a pretty good analogy at the end

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:38 @ crazychester

I agree with you that both pieces are really quite vacuous.

To your and CK08's points - I want to stress again that several of the proposed uses in NDXC explicitly cannibalize Eddy St. uses from the Campus Master Plan (which is apparently still at least partially operative, per Jenkins' dorm announcement yesterday).

Centralization can definitely end up as too much of a good thing. The "city within a city" model has a long history (both good and bad), and never forcing students to leave the same 500' x 500' area might not be the best thing. ND is much more Holland, MI than it is Detroit, but here we are dropping a Renaissance Center in the middle of campus.

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per the '08 plan, the Eddy St extension

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:47 @ Mike (bart)

was to have a fine arts building and an art museum (along with a parking structure). I don't see what parts of the Eddy street master plan are being cannibalized by Crossroads. Those could still be in play for all we know.

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EDIT: Found them

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:49 @ Jay
edited by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:55

http://bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?id=210708

http://bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?id=210720

So obviously the music building is toast. The social sciences building will probably also have to be changed to something else. Further, putting the huge restaurant/lounge in the Crossroads (on the 3rd floor! no less) pretty much precludes the idea of putting another restaurant/lounge along Eddy. That's a shame because 1) it's about as ideal a street level function as one can have and 2) it could have served as the ground floor of a smaller building with an additional use or two.

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all kinds of questions

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:14 @ Mike (bart)

1. Why do you assume a music building is toast? Crossroads will host the sacred music program, which is different from the music department.

2. I didn't see anything on the master plan about an on-campus restaurant along Eddy (unless you're talking about redoing Legends, which I think with the Eddy Street development and the new Morris Inn pub could probably go).

3. The dining area on the west building isn't on the 3rd floor, it's on the first floor. http://crossroads.nd.edu/the-project/west-building/

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Working backwards

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:26 @ Jay

3. I was referring to the lounge/club in the south building (http://bluegraysky.com/forum/index.php?id=210330)

2. This was more a general comment about the need for street-level friendly uses in the Eddy St. corridor. Obviously the market for restaurants/lounges in that part of campus (and into ESC) is finite, so it's a head scratcher to me why ND would put resources into a 3rd floor spot in the middle of it's Sportress of Solitude (/smartass) when they need those very things on Eddy St. anyway.

1. The music department (not just the sacred music department) is slotted for the south building as well:

Level 4: Department of Music offices, practice rooms, and storage.

Level 5: The Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, offices, organ practice rooms, and storage.

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thanks for the correction on the music dept

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:30 @ Mike (bart)

The lounge/club I think is probably for stadium events and special events and not a daily use sort of thing.

I still think there's plenty on the master plan to develop the eddy extension if you want to. Arts, art museum, dry cleaners, tandoori chicken, paycheck loans, etc.

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Protest sign maker, guitar shop, food co-op

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:36 @ Jay

[ No text ]

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on the location criticism/campus epicenter (edit)

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:13 @ crazychester
edited by Jay, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:21

I think the west building location for rec sports + student union facilities is just about a perfect location for that stuff (short of bulldozing LaFortune and rebuilding there or repurposing something else).

Think about it: it's adjacent to the two most heavily-trafficked classroom buildings, right outside Debartolo, right next to O'Shag, also near the law school, Mendoza, Cushing, south quad, etc. This isn't redefining the center of campus at all. If anything it's bringing it in tighter.

Right now the rec sports are way the hell on the east edge of campus. This brings them closer to the center of campus. Right now I wonder how many kids from the west quad even know about Rolfs Rec center.

It also frees up the Rolfs rec center for hoops. A great win-win from that perspective.

Edit: I mean, this is what we're talking about.

[image]

Tags:
stadium, crossroads

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I agree

by CK08, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:26 @ Jay

I think the concern is less about the student center/rec center, and more about the psych program getting pulled out of North Quad, the music program getting pulled out of God Quad, Career Services moving from Flanner or Grace (right?), etc.

Now, God Quad is already pretty quiet, North Quad is mostly dorms, and Flanner and Grace are never going to be the center of campus, nor should they be. So are we really losing much "vitality" from other parts of campus?

I actually applaud ND wanting to make the Eddy Street corridor the busiest part of campus during the day. It means a better physical connection to South Bend, which can only be a good thing. Most students already spend most of their weekdays in DeBartolo and Mendoza (and O'Shag, and the engineering buildings, etc). So that's already the center of academic activity.

But if they're going to do that, they need to commit to it. They can't have the Crossroads stuff sitting next to giant parking lots. Which is why I'm confused that they want to build a research building in what is now the Library Lot/D-2. That seems like the perfect building to put on Eddy Street near the DPAC.

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I think the dept moves will affect a small %

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:40 @ CK08

of campus denizens on a day to day basis. (And I'm sure the faculty involved are ecstatic: new digs, easier parking, etc).

But the student union/rec center could be utilized by just about everyone. And putting it near the center of campus, closer to dorms and classrooms, will probably make it the most popular building on campus.

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At the same time, if this is successful

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:48 @ Jay

a plurality/majority of ND students will never have any cause to go East of the stadium Crossroads and will almost never have any cause to go North of the Crossroads, either. Superb efficiency, sure, but efficiency and optimization aren't always the same things.

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should there even be a Student Union?

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:55 @ Mike (bart)

If offered a choice, I think I'd rather see Eddy Street doubled or tripled than an expanded centralized Student Union. To me there's something appealing about ND expanding its metropolitan footprint.

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Kain Colter thinks so.

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:23 @ HumanRobot

[ No text ]

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Maybe not a Union, per se

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:57 @ HumanRobot

But I understand that "group meeting/study" spaces are a part of the new student center. IMO, these are sorely needed as there just really aren't a whole lot of quiet, available places on campus to work on group projects, or study in groups.

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I realize more is better, but...

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:21 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

I feel like if there's one thing the campus is opplete with, it's group meeting/study space throughout all of its academic buildings.

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Unless things have changed in the last 10 years

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:31 @ HumanRobot

I'd disagree with you. There may be group study space in buildings that I'm not familiar with, but I doubt business majors would know about/seek space in places like Fitzpatrick, Haggar, Nieuwland, etc. DeBart and COBA are used for classes, lectures throughout the entire day and night and are oftentimes locked after a certain time.

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see below

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:37 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

I guess our mileages varied?

Also, I should note that the first floor of the library was recently redone. I believe the 'fishbowl' is available now:

http://library.nd.edu/about/maps/first.shtml

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Is this opposite day?

by PAK, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:31 @ HumanRobot

I had the opposite experience as a student at ND (class of '00). Study space was minimal. There was nowhere good to have a group meeting.

I was lucky because I lived on West Quad and every section in our dorm had a small study room, but even that was cramped. 5-6 small desks along the walls and a comically small table that could fit maybe 3 people in the middle of the room.

The engineering library was always packed to the gills in crunch time.

The engineering labs were as loud as ND stadium by the end of the semester, every computer in use.

None of those were appropriate for a group meeting of 4+ people.

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six points for 'opplete'

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:24 @ HumanRobot

[ No text ]

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am I taking crazy pills, though?

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:35 @ Jay

Off the bat, you've got the Library, which is pretty big. Then there's Coleman-Morse and Reckers. Hammes also has a pretty decently sized coffee shop where I could see students collaborating. I believe that the rooms in Debartolo are all available after class hours for students to meet or to find quiet space. I guess you could term those the public study spaces (excluding LaFun of course).

The maligned HHH building has its own library. The design and architecture schools have entire buildings of studio space. Fitz has numerous labs, a library, and collaboration cubes. Same with Stenson-Remick. The law school has its own library and cafeteria space. Mendoza is basically a Debartolo sized building with tons of collaborative spaces and several cafes throughout. So most colleges/majors have their own study spaces as well.

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Well, point by point

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:43 @ HumanRobot

I think the Library basement might have been available (and I understand its been somewhat-recently renovated as well), but there weren't any other areas in the library. It is a library, so group study is generally frowned upon if you're speaking above a murmur. Again, things might have changed here since I've been gone (2003).

Co-Mo was brand new when I was leaving and as such, was over-populated and generally unavailable. There were perhaps 10 tables at Reckers, and again, it was generally crowded and loud and not conducive to that type of stuff.

I seem to remember trying to get into some rooms at DeBart and finding either rooms being used for later classes or the rooms (and even the building) locked. Again, maybe this has changed. COBA was a similar story and has fewer group meeting rooms than you might expect from a business school.

Can't speak with any authority on some of those buildings you mentioned. The new law school obviously wasn't around when I was there.

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don't ask me, I was on the Davaris Daniels plan

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:41 @ HumanRobot

[ No text ]

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American Sudies:

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:14 @ Jay

the Nation is Our Classroom™

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I would never consider eating areas as group study areas.

by PAK, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:38 @ HumanRobot

Generally tiny tables, constant traffic, and distraction everywhere. And it's not like any of those places are super big anyways.

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I don't follow

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:51 @ Mike (bart)

We're talking about the west side of the stadium. I don't know why you would locate a student union / rec center further out. That would certainly relocate the center of campus, which I thought we were trying to mitigate against.

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But why are we assuming that it is a plus to have them

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:01 @ Jay

under the same (green) roof?

The idea that you can wake up, go to class at 10 @ DBART, walk 50 feet, enter the Crossroads at 11:30 a.m. and then eat lunch, work out for 90 minutes and then go to a group meeting all without going outside seems like an awfully strange convenience for a place with such a beautiful campus.

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What you describe probably sounds amazing

by CK08, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 16:49 @ Mike (bart)

to students trudging through the South Quad Wind Tunnel right now.

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we could put them out by Carroll if you want

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:02 @ Mike (bart)

[ No text ]

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For one thing, we could put stuff any number of places

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:09 @ Jay

a lot of the less footprint intensive uses could go along Eddy St (where they were originally slated to go in the Master Plan), or we could consolidate parking, or any number of things.

For another thing, I don't think it's productive or fair to accept ND's proposed program as an absolutely necessary premise. "Well, where else are we going to find 40,000 sq. ft for career services?" isn't the right question for fostering a creative or effective solution.

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I'm talking strictly about student union/rec sports

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:23 @ Mike (bart)

i.e. probably the facilities with the highest utilization in the whole project. To me, they're in the right spot. Whether we need them? I think that's a different question.

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That "American Interest" article referenced in there

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:50 @ Jay

is exactly the sort of thing I expect to be written by a 25-year-old Yale graduate.

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and

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:22 @ Jay

http://ndsmcobserver.com/2014/02/crossroads-cross-country-impact/

Crossroads’ cross-country impact

Paul Browne | Thursday, February 27, 2014

When the University of Notre Dame announced its intention to attach state-of-the-art academic buildings and a student-life center designed with an exterior skin inspired by its tradition-rich campus to the bare concrete and brick exterior of its iconic football stadium, hundreds of newspapers and other media outlets described it as a bold solution for a university looking to integrate uses and to build without the sprawl that has turned other pedestrian-friendly places into ones where cars were king. Some accounts included the fact that the Campus Crossroads Project included rehearsal space for the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, whose leadership includes the field’s top scholars, lured from Yale and Princeton to Our Lady’s University. For the most part, however, the accounts were mainly brick-and-mortar stories.

One exception was a remarkable piece by Matt Emerson, a 2008 alumnus of Notre Dame Law School and a teacher and administrator at Xavier College Preparatory, who writes “The Ignatian Educator” blog for the Jesuit magazine “America.” In his Feb. 3 article, “Lessons from Crossroads Project at Notre Dame,” Emerson acknowledged a predictable reaction but then stepped back to appreciate something much larger than Crossroads or even Notre Dame itself.

“When I first heard of the University’s intentions, my first reaction was similar to many others, a reflexive ‘wow’ at the magnificence of the project and a marveling at the cost,” Emerson wrote. “But it would be a mistake to see the Campus Crossroads Project as a mere expansion, as simply another sign of progress at a leading school. In implementing the Crossroads Project, Notre Dame is making a dramatic statement about the nature and future of education.”

To understand why, Emerson wrote, “one has to understand the landscape of modern education. An array of voices and forces are destabilizing the traditional university model, the model that has sustained Western culture for hundreds of years. This model features a centralized campus uniting academic departments, athletic programs and all the activities, offices and services that coalesce into a teeming community. It has evolved, today, into the model of large quads, dorm life and the frenzied game days of college sports. It’s the ‘total immersion’ model, whereby the learner fully situates him or herself in an educational community.”

Emerson said the model still defines American college life but that, in recent years, “the Hubble-like reach of the Internet has reconfigured the status quo,” with the rise of Massive Open Online Courses enabling “people from around the world to access lectures and coursework formerly offered only on a specific campus, often at a prohibitive cost.”

Then Emerson poses a worrisome question: “If you can take Introduction to Psychology online for free, why sit in a 100-person lecture hall where the professor doesn’t know your name?” He quotes Nathan Harden in the January-February 2013 issue of “The American Interest” in saying that “The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs…”

So, with Crossroads, is Notre Dame boldly going where angels fear to tread? Or are we visionaries, as Emerson suggests? He writes: “Into this milieu, into the winds of this pessimism, comes the bold vision of Notre Dame. Notre Dame is one of the country’s most important Catholic schools. Notre Dame’s decisions influence not only other Catholic colleges, but high schools and primary schools. People look to Notre Dame for what Catholic education is and what it should be. What are some lessons, what are some insights, from Notre Dame’s Crossroads Project?

“1) Notre Dame’s Crossroads Project expresses total confidence in the viability of the residential college system; not necessarily in all residential college systems, but at least in the residential system that Notre Dame offers. Though online learning venues will continue to grow, Notre Dame is not abandoning the merits of being on campus. University officials believe that living and studying at Notre Dame delivers benefits that cannot be gained elsewhere — and that students will continue to pay for it. Notre Dame is optimistic that students will continue to seek the fellowship and edification which can only be gained in community. This doesn’t mean online alternatives have no value, but it does indicate Notre Dame’s belief that there is no substitute for an environment dedicated to a vibrant, consistent pursuit of truth, where scholars from disparate fields regularly converse with one another about the commonalties of their endeavors.

“2) The Campus Crossroads Project expresses the classic Catholic belief in the unity of knowledge. … Notre Dame Stadium will no longer stand in isolation as a cathedral of competition, as something apart from or better than the rest of the University. The football stadium will now be connected to Notre Dame’s Sacred Music program, which will be connected to the psychology and anthropology departments. Notre Dame is making a statement that all of these fields of study relate. … Connecting athletics, academics and spirituality signals to a visitor that Notre Dame football is set against a broader horizon of activity and meaning. Athletics, in other words, is one of many pursuits through which the human being realizes the dignity of his or her creation.”

Emerson doesn’t suggest that Notre Dame is alone in advancing the belief in the unity of knowledge, but, he says, “it’s really heartening to see an institution as well-known as Notre Dame undertake such a prominent, innovative move in service of an on-campus education and the unity of the human experience.“

Matt Emerson is, in fact, an Ignatian educator, who made these observations from afar, in Palm Desert, Calif., where he teaches and is director of admissions and advancement at Xavier. He found a calling in service to Catholic education to be apparently more spiritually-enriching than the commercial litigation he formerly practiced. One would think, however, he had spent hundreds of hours in the meetings of Notre Dame faculty, architects and others whose vision and aspirations he captured better than anyone who has written on the subject to date. Emerson thinks big, and he understands those at Notre Dame who think big, too.

Paul Browne is the vice president for public affairs and communications.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not
necessarily those of The Observer.

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initial reaction

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:53 @ Jay

It's interesting to view the crossroads mashup as a symbol of the enduring campus experience in the face of new, impersonal modes of education. Also interesting to see the project as a fusion of Notre Dame ideals: where the scholarly, the sacred, and the social all come together.

I don't think that was the driving force, obviously, but it's an interesting spin.

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I've been debating posting something along these lines...

by Supe ⌂, VA, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 13:12 @ Jay

For me - what is most interesting about Crossroads is the intersection of football with academics.

I think there a quite a few academics (at Notre Dame and probably much moreso elsewhere) that view football as barbaric and potentially the antagonistic to higher education (or any education). Crossroads links football with academic and student life - that is pretty darn cool.

And, it is a statement of sorts - football is a center of who we are as a school. It's admission of a chicken & egg scenario - we are a great school in part because we've had a great football program - and we're a great football program in part because we are a great school. The marriage of 20 year olds running into each other and a top place of education is more tightly linked with the new ND statdium than perhaps in any other place.

I think this is very cool, and probably a good way to think about the University if the school is to maximize its potential - in the classroom and on the field.

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Thoughts . . .

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:51 @ Jay

1) Jesus Christ, Paul Browne, learn to paraphrase

2) this is pretty flimsy: Hooray to ND for building on their campus! I don't begrudge Emerson that point, but at the same time I don't feel as though he has made a case for this project -- in all its specificities -- either, These pieces are fine as a justification of the concept (which I don't think m/any people had a problem with) but the larger questions that have many of us hacked off (form, program, scale) aren't really addressed.

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I, for one, am in favor of education.

by Buck Mulligan, Martello Tower, Thursday, February 27, 2014, 13:34 @ Mike (bart)

[ No text ]

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One thing about the University of Notre Dame

by Mike (bart), Thursday, February 27, 2014, 14:30 @ Buck Mulligan

it shows up, day after day and fights to keep their doors open, no matter how powerfully the winds of this day and age are blustering to close its doors.

America's last great underdog story, really.

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