Hateful Behavior, University Policies, and Resources on Campus

Several anonymous posts have recently been submitted to this blog with troubling concerns about hateful treatment and language. I do not know and cannot respond to the unknown author’s specific experiences.  However, I think it provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ideals for which we strive as well as the avenues of support, healing, and reconciliation when we fall short.

As stated in the student handbook, du Lac: A Guide to Student Life:

“In keeping with Catholic tradition, we seek to create a community that honors the human dignity of each member and that is characterized by a love of truth, active care and concern for the common good, and service toward others.” (http://studenthandbook.nd.edu/community-standards/)

duLac explicitly delineates that some “actions and behaviors are clearly inconsistent with the University’s expectations for membership in this community,” including:

  • Abusive or harassing behavior, including unwelcome communication
  • Behavior which causes a serious disturbance of the University community or infringes upon the rights and well-being of others
  • Willful damage to the reputation or psychological well­-being of another


The 2012 document, Beloved Friends and Allies, further specifies:

The University affirms the Church’s position that persons who identify as gay or lesbian “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (CCC, 2358). (http://grc.nd.edu/lgbtq-allies/beloved-friends-and-allies-pastoral-plan/)

If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination, harassment, or assault, please know that help is available.  There are many resources on campus to assist you which include, but are not limited to:

If you have witnessed or been the target of hateful speech or behavior, please contact one of these organizations – not only to provide you with needed support, but to help create a world free of such violence and intolerance.

What’s living on campus like?


What is on-campus living like for graduate students? Is it similar to undergraduate on-campus resident life?



Notre Dame has four facilities comprising two residential communities for graduate and professional students. (http://housing.nd.edu/graduate/)

While both communities strive to provide the same strong sense of connection and support experienced in our undergrad halls, and are held to the same standards of conduct, living on-campus as a post-baccalaureate student is very different than as an undergrad.  Here are some of the key differences:

  • Students live in individual apartments & townhouses, not dormitories, which allows for greater independence and autonomy.
  • Evening quiet hours are observed all year long to provide an environment conducive to scholarly success.
  • Registered guests may stay with you, with written permission of all roommates.
  • You get to park right outside your front door!

If you would like more information about living on campus, please be in touch directly with hall staff:

Nhat Nguyen, Rector, Fischer O’Hara-Grace (nnguyen3@nd.edu)
Nathan Elliot, Rector, University Village (nelliot1@nd.edu)

Challenging Aspects of Adjusting to Graduate Studies


What do you think are the most challenging aspects of adjusting to graduate studies and what advice would you offer a new grad student?



Adjusting to graduate studies as a new grad student, like adjusting to any new situation in life, can be challenging.  Navigating the transition from student to scholar requires confidence, discipline, passion, curiosity, tenacity, and resilience. What each student finds most challenging, however, will vary based on their situation and personality, and may change as they progress through the key milestones of coursework, comps, research, and writing.

My advice as you begin this journey is this: never be afraid to ask questions or to seek help along the way!  Ask your advisor about specific expectations. Ask your program director about milestones, deadlines, and funding.  Look for opportunities for professional development and training.  Talk honestly with your peers about the things you find exciting and frustrating about your work.  Make friends with people outside your discipline to inspire new perspectives.  And if you are struggling, don’t suffer in silence – find someone you trust and ask for help.

At Notre Dame, we have a rich constellation of services and resources to support the success and wellness of our graduate students.  The links below are just a few:


Additionally, there are several helpful online resources for graduate students.  I recommend:


Is ND right for me?


Thank you for asking, and for your interest in graduate studies at Notre Dame.  The best advice I can give is to talk to graduate students currently studying in the program to which you are considering applying. Their experience with faculty, coursework, and navigating advanced studies within a specific departmental environment will provide you with the best insight about whether ND is the right choice for you. As to describing the Grad School culture, overall I would call it engaging. But, again, current students would be your best guide. If you want to email our Program Director, Mimi Beck, she can connect you with students in the program you are considering. She can be reached at mbeck1@nd.edu.

Q: LGBT and Non-Christian Life at ND

I would like to know how life at Notre Dame is for LGBT students, allies, and Non-Christians.

Thank you for asking. Regarding LGBT students and allies, last year the university published, “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame” As a result of this plan, a new undergrad student organization has been formed, PrismND, and a new Assistant Director of LGBTQ initiatives named. I encourage you to be in touch with Ms. Doyle with any further specific questions you may have.

Regarding Non-Christians, approximately 29% of ND graduate students are non-Christian. And according to a recent survey of Graduate Student Life their levels of satisfaction with overall academic experience, sense of community, and quality of life do not differ significantly from that of Christian graduate students.

Q: South Bend Weather


We recently received a question asking the average temperature in Boston. Since Notre Dame is almost 900 miles west of Boston, it felt a bit like a Monty Python character asking for completely random and irrelevant information… “what is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” On further investigation, however, it was interesting to note that the two cities have remarkably similar annual temperatures. Though we get a lot more snow!

You can view and compare climates in South Bend and across the globe at http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/indiana/south-bend/

Q: A List of Companies Offering Internships?


I am a foreign student from the Netherlands. I want to perform an internship in the USA, in specific in South Bend if possible.

my study major is mechanical engineering, with the minors Production engineering and Thermodynamical Engineering.

I don’t know if you students have to perform an internship.

I want to know if you have a kind of database of company’s offering intern positions.

The period of my internship would be from February 2014 up to June/July 2014. It must be 720 working hours.

could any of you help me with some kind of list containing interesting company’s for a internship?

With kindly regards.

Jorn Nijenhuis




Thank you for asking, Jorn.

Graduate students in Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame are not required to complete any external internships, so there is no specific list of intern positions.  The website for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering<http://ame.nd.edu/> can help you see the areas of research being done here, as well as faculty members working on specific projects.