I completely agree with Louis Hannegan’s article about instituting a smoking ban on campus. I think that the best thing for this school is a mainstream, politically correct “image appropriate for the 21st century.” It is time to take back the idea of Catholicism as a progressive institution that is up to speed with modern times. In this vein, here are some of my own ideas about other improvements we can make.
The first is Music on the Mall. When I first arrived at University of Dallas, the music was excellent, but now, frankly, it is repulsive, and I do not want to be bombarded by it. Could we ban this as well?
Also the clothing on campus disgusts me. We are supposed to be in the world but not of it, and the students’ dress reflects this, but some of their choices assault my sense of aesthetics. I think it is time to enforce a dress code like in high school; not a uniform, since we don’t want to make prospective students think this is a regime, but perhaps slacks and a polo shirt. After all, we are a Catholic school not a traditional university. UD should be a beacon of virtue amidst the decadence of other academic institutions by providing a sheltered environment where students don’t have their prejudices challenged, because we all know that’s how convictions are strengthened.
I just want to close by saying how happy I am that someone is finally taking UD seriously, and I look forward to seeing what positive changes you will be spearheading in the future.
Class of 2012
When your eyes alighted upon the gorgeous image affixed to Louis Hannegan’s commentary piece on technology from the Sept. 20 issue of The University News, of an antique black Royal typewriter, did your heart skip a beat? Did it flutter – and groan? The sight of a typewriter can have that effect on those few of us breathing who still esteem the machine for its sensual merit. Ah, typewriters … We love them for their fetching, solid appearance, and we thrill at the way their bells ding and their keys crash, so unlike the dull monotonous clicking of the personal computer. Aren’t phones of the relatively recent past so much comelier than phones of the present and the phones-to-be of the future? Rotary phones from the 1940s were at once queerly shaped and visually impressive – that is, they had a presence – and the act of dialing them required a few moments of patience and an intimate sensory encounter. Cell phones, on the other hand, are aesthetically forgettable and dull to the touch. They were designed to please the god of Functionality, and dutiful they be. Books we know are going the way of the dodo bird. Words of course will remain; but as words on a light-emitting, headache-inducing, texture-less, aroma-less, bland electronic screen. Who, 25 years from now, will fill his home with that best and most didactic of ornaments, the paper-and-ink, flesh and blood, fragrant and tangible book? Winston Churchill once wrote in bibliophilic delight, “If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or, as it were, fondle them.”
Who would fondle his Kindle? And if he did, wouldn’t we send for the men in the white coats? Yes, the future comes apace. For beauty and charm we have substituted ease and efficiency. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Class of 2013