Welcome Back Message on the First Day of Class

Author: Aaron Benavides

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Dear Notre Dame,

Welcome back to campus and happy first day of class! 

We write to you at what will prove to be one of the most unique semesters of our University’s 178-year history. We face a challenge that has not been faced before, but we meet it as one family. In times like these, we must rely on each other to weather the storm. Only if we come together as one community will we be able to make the best of this semester.

Essential to our understanding of community is recognizing the many different members of our Notre Dame family – from our professors to our dining hall workers, from our fellow students to our dorm custodians. We have to remember that we are all Notre Dame, and that our own individual decisions and actions both on and off-campus affect not just ourselves, but all those around us. 

It is incumbent on us to do everything we can to care for the vulnerable around us. We must wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, do our daily health check, and wash our hands often. This applies to our time on campus and our gatherings off-campus as well. These new procedures will take some time to adjust to, and sometimes we may forget. In those instances, let’s learn from our mistakes and commit to doing better.

As the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross remind us, “There can be no community among us unless our common life and mission are governed by deliberations and decisions that draw us all towards a unity of… sentiment and action (7:80).”

Our college life will certainly look different than it ever has before, but we must take up the responsibility that comes with being back at our home under the dome. This semester is truly dependent on our behavior, and we must do everything we can to keep each other safe.

We look forward to serving all of you and encourage you to reach out to us via email or online form if you have any questions or concerns. 

In Notre Dame,

Rachel Ingal, Student Body President
Sarah Galbenski, Student Body Vice President
Aaron Benavides, Student Government Chief of Staff