Campus is once more abuzz in response to the latest message from Rev. JayJay I Jaykins, C.S.C. The entire student body always carefully peruses messages from the Office of the President, and last week’s was no exception. What the students found justified their attention: Jaykins is attempting to implement yet another lucrative policy unrelated to improving student well-being.
To address the lack of space for alumni on busy home football weekends, Jaykins has begun a hotel service that rents out current student dorm rooms to alumni, beginning fall 2019.
“We thought it was time to capitalize on the nostalgia factor,” explains Jaykins. “Many students talk about how strangers often try to enter their dorm rooms during football weekends to see the rooms where they lived forty-five years ago, and we decided it would be special to allow them to relive that experience.”
For just $700 a night, alumni can revisit the days of avoiding cockroaches and basking in the lack of air conditioning. Not to mention, in dorms like Farley and Howard, the constant chance to comment about how they lived here “before the university allowed women in!” Beginning in 2020, the program will be opened up not only to alumni, but anyone who has ever met a current or former student at Notre Dame. This comes as a desire to increase inclusivity, a recent major goal of the university.
Jaykins and his administration did think carefully about this policy and the potential problems it could cause. He and Ellen Harman Hoffding spent an entire afternoon troubleshooting: “We anticipated a lot of pushback over parietals, knowing how beloved they are by the student body, which is clearly the biggest hurdle.”
Luckily, they found a solution: “We managed to solve that by renting out the entire dorm, so there won’t be any disruption of dorm community, since there won’t be any current students in the dorms on those nights.”
As for what the student body will do on home football weekends, the administration isn’t especially concerned. “Maybe they can stay with off-campus friends of the same gender?” suggests Harmon Hoffding. The important thing is to cater to the alumni.
The funds from the dorm hotel program will go toward Jaykins’ newest construction project: a fourteen-story building that will house Notre Dame’s excess money.