To Father Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame
Please, Ask of Yourself What You Ask of Others
To Father Jenkins,
On Saturday evening, I saw a photo of you sitting amongst a small crowd of people. You were not wearing a mask.
I saw another photo of you without a mask. You were shaking hands with another person that was also not wearing a mask.
I saw this as a disregard of the instructions that end each of your emails:
Please remember to do the following:
Wear your mask.
Practice physical distancing.
Wash your hands regularly.
Complete your daily health check.
Show up when selected for surveillance testing.
As an employee of Notre Dame, I am livid. I look at your latest round of thanks, and a sense of cynicism fills me.
Thanks to the efforts of so many of you, both in adhering to health protocols and assisting in our COVID-19 response efforts, the number of positive cases remains at a manageable level. I’m deeply grateful to you and proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.
I know the year has asked a lot of each of you, and you have responded so well. I am proud of what we have accomplished, but we cannot let our guard down. Let’s each of us recommit to doing our part to keep this community healthy and remain together here on campus.
This year has asked much of us as have the leaders of Notre Dame. It leaves a bitter taste to see a leader of Notre Dame disregard an ask that they make of others.
While all of the scientific evidence indicates that the risk of transmission is far lower outdoors than indoors, I want to remind you (and myself!) that we should stay at least six feet apart. I recognize that it’s not easy, particularly when we are reuniting with such great friends. I am sorry for my poor example, and I am recommitting to do my best. I am confident you will too.
I accept that we all falter and fail as we strive to each do our best.
On such a visible stage, I expected more from a leader. I expect more of someone that once apologized and committed to doing better after failing to wear a mask; Of someone who writes a thank you for the efforts of adhering to health protocols; And of someone responsible for campus guidelines and policies around non-compliance.
Sincerely a concerned, frustrated, and disappointed employee of the University of Notre Dame.