So the hour is, at last, upon us.
For some, the transition of the Presidency of the University stirs feelings akin to those of the wandering Israelites upon Moses leading them out of the desert and into the promised land. For others, it's the biggest anti-climax since Hugh Hefner's 80th birthday party. One thing should be obvious to all, though. Based on his handling of Ty Willingham's dismissal and Charlie Weis' hiring, it's clear that Fr. Jenkins' vision of the University is substantially different from that of his predecessor.
We here at BGS have drafted a manifesto, which we hope to slip into Fr. Jenkins' pocket in the vacuum of moments during Dr. Monkenstein's wane and Fr. Jenkins' wax, hopefully to be read during his remarks after formally assuming his new position.
Here's what we would do if we were President.
NOTING that the U has been akin to a ship, if not without a rudder, then one with a drunken (and likely French) mime at the helm, and
DESIRING to set the compass both backward and forward at the same time, and
ENSURING that the student experience is the renewed and continued focus of the university,
WE PROPOSE the following changes:
• The immediate and prejudiced destruction of Legends. Surely one of our alums owns a bulldozer. In its place shall be constructed an establishment containing 2 parts Harry's Bar, 2 parts Doug Weston's Troubador, and 1 part O'Connell Street. In this establishment, students and alums will be able to eat food that does not suck, drink booze that does not suck, and hear live music that does not suck, all in an atmosphere that does not resemble the Perkins restaurant on 33. The fact that alums' first reaction upon entering will no longer be, "What the &@%# is this?" will be gravy.
• The university will commission a statue of Ara Parseghian, to be placed outside the northwest wall of the stadium.
• The University shall no longer engage in underhanded, dopey, ridiculous, heavy-handed tactics in the parking lots during home football weekends. Never again will an 85 year-old man named Bud and his 35 year-old grandson be asked, "You fellas gonna behave today?" by a mall cop in a plastic dayglo vest whose most intimate experience with a golden dome was when his date's hair fell out after too much fake-bake before the 1978 IUSB Spring Mixer.
• And speaking of tailgating, we will ease up on the black ops that have been found in the lots every football Saturday. We get it; underage drinking is wrong, but we believe undercover agents are a little much. We don't want you to feel like bolting whenever you see two casually dressed people who are too old to be students and too young to be parents; tailgating should be a relaxed and fun experience for all ages, not an episode of COPS.
• The University will shutter the Office of Manufactured Spirit, which has been flooding the campus with saccharine, inane, Ned-Flanders-on-laughing-gas "mystique" since the publication of the 1991 Dome. Any student or adminstrator found creating, proposing, or otherwise endorsing a "spirit banner" shall be forced to wear it as his lone garment for the period of one week. All hazing of said offender during this time shall be considered to have been performed in self-defense and, therefore, immune from prosecution.
• The University is hereby out of the Gameday T-shirt business. We will no longer defile our unparallelled football tradition by commemorating, in cotton, games against Navy, BYU, and Stanford. Students will not be prohibited from doing so, but are subject to the whims of the market. If you can sell a Notre Dame vs. Rutgers t-shirt, good on ya.
• The University will draw up an amendment to its charter, a "Declaration of (Conference) Independence," as a bit of preventive medicine to avoid the fate of other once-proud Independents. We are not whores, so we figured we might as well put that one on paper. The Big 10 Polka is over.
• From this point on, referring to Boston College as our rival will be grounds for mandatory enrollment in a 3-credit course on the history of the University. We have one rival, and they know who they are. If you are an ND opponent and are asking yourself, "Are they talking about our school?" then you ain't it.
• An expanded and improved display of Notre Dame's football awards, team and game photos, and all manners of ND football memorabilia will be included in the upcoming Joyce Center renovation. (Thanks to Gator77 for the fine suggestion, by the way). The current hallway displays at the JACC fall way, way short of what a ND Sports Hall of Fame should be. Great care will be taken to construct a well-researched and non-cheesy exhibit space that will feature archived photographs of teams gone by, trophies, award displays, film clips of great games, and an interactive experience on what it feels like to be sacked by Ross Browner.
• In light of the recent tragedy and in an effort to maintain the University's cultural heritage, the recently-condemned CJ's Pub will be relocated to LaFortune, complete with crappy popcorn, Ricky Joe on guitar, and the best burgers in the country, bar none. ($2 pitchers of Bud Light on Tuesdays.)
• Pep rallies will be returned to student control, where they rightfully belong. Chuck Lennon is a good man, but he comes flying out of that tunnel every Friday night, spouting off as if he's been drinking straight Red Bull for the past 4 hours. He tries his best, but students "raise the roof" out of ironic bemusement, not school pride. Scratch Chuck, or at least give him a less vital role, find students willing to fire up their peers, and be less concerned with showing Mom and Dad a good time and more concerned with getting ourselves and the football team excited for tomorrow's game. A return to the noisy, cramped space of Stepan Center will be a good first step in reclaiming the spirit of the old rallies, as any alum who recalls the old Fieldhouse days will attest. Oh, and a yearly guest appearance by Coach Holtz wouldn't hurt, either.
• SYRs will be returned to the dorms. The reason for this is two-fold. First, the students are adults, and should be treated as such. Second, it is invariably true that, given the choice between drinking in their rooms with their section-mates and skipping down to the K of C for a junior-high-style social with punch and cookies, Notre Dame Men and Women choose option A every time. We might as well let them have dates while they do it. This is logical, and the University is, above all, a place of learning. This senior class will be the first class without SYRs, and as a result an important tradition is about to die. It only takes four years to kill a campus tradition, and the cultural memory is about to run out, to be lost forever. Save the SYR.
• A new "Champions of Notre Dame" commerical will be created to replace the ones in rotation on NBC. The new version will feature Motts Tonelli, Fr. Paul Doyle, Mary the maid in Morrissey, George Wendt, Ted Leo, Clashmore Mike, Tony Rice, Terri Buck, and Steve Bartman.
• DART will no longer be available online. DART will go back to the phones. DART's beeps and boops will be replaced by Officer Tim McCarthy saying "May I have your attention: congratulations!" or "I'm sorry, that class is full. Please drive safely!"
• Chris Zorich will be brought on to be the Associate Provost for Kicking Ass.
• The defunct ethanol plant, in recognition of its years of serving the University through the production of, well, ethanol, will be converted into a brewery, manufacturing high quality beverages such as Ara's Ale and Leahy's Lager. Tours and tastings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, appointments available through DART. Students will handle Quality Control.
• Parietals will be revoked; however, in order to maintain in loco parentis, the University will ban alcohol for everyone from 2AM to 4AM during the weekend. This will be known as the "Dodged Bullet" period, in which men and women recover their senses and avoid making those special errors that earn them the mockery/pity of their peers.
• The New Bookstore will be lifted off its foundations, placed on a very large flatbed or perhaps a barge, and will be transported to Orlando, Florida so it can do what it was born to do: it will sell overpriced Mickey Mouse garbage to people who have no choice but to buy it there. An exact replica of the Old Bookstore will be built on the vacated spot. Waiting in lines in cramped areas builds character.
• Michigan sucks.
It is so decreed by us, BGS, on this First Day of July, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Five.
Yours in Notre Dame, et cetera and so forth.
In all seriousness, we wish Father Jenkins well in his new endeavor. We know it's a tough job, and we pray that the University, under his guidance, will continue to reach for the heavens while acknowledging and nurturing its roots. Welcome aboard, Father.
(Thanks to Pete for his help in brainstorming the above.)