Foraging for food, and other Notre Dame fall break adventures


From October 19 to 24, Notre Dame’s campus suffered near complete and utter isolation.  Most forms of life seemed to have vacated the premises, not accounting for the occasional gluttonous squirrel or nuclear-enhanced power plant fish.  Students appeared to have come to an unspoken agreement that campus was not, for the week, the place to be.

The library remained the one part of campus that hummed along to its usual high-pitched tune of frantic writing on the part of many bleak-eyed grad students.

On Friday afternoon, a riot nearly erupted among those clientele when the news broke that Au Bon Pain had closed down before dinner.  The riot was calmed not by the campus police (whose characteristic bikes had not been seen on campus the entire week), but rather by the rumor that food could also be found in the LaFortune Student Center.

The would-be rioters were amazed to find that Notre Dame has restaurants other than Au Bon Pain, namely, a Pizza Hut, a Subway, and a Taco Bell, all of which were closed.  They also found remnants of a Burger King, but the sole undergraduate in the building informed them that in her three years at Notre Dame, she had never seen the Burger King open anyway and was not sure it was still in operation on Notre Dame’s campus.

The hungry crowd dispersed of its own accord, many sobered individuals heading away from the scene toward Eddy Street.  No casualties were reported, but some may have occurred.

The 7 undergraduates who remained on campus had similar luck finding food.  Four reported buying most of their food from Domino’s or Jimmy John’s throughout the week, while two claimed they engaged in a process known as “cooking for themselves,” by which, using ancient and questionable dorm kitchens, they managed to survive on pasta and dry cereal for the entire week.  The remaining individual, Mary O’Irish of North Quad, managed to survive while eating only a frozen form of dairy and sugar.

“I was so glad my dining hall was closed,” she told the Rover.  “It gave me an excuse to go to South without my friends making fun of me … then I realized South was closed too, so I just bought 14 pints of Ben and Jerry’s from the Huddle and cried in my room for the rest of the week.  Looking back, it was actually a spectacular break.”

Michael O’Irish, Mary’s brother and also a student at Notre Dame, was on the Florida beaches for break and was so concerned about his sister’s well-being that he called her, her RA, and her rector to make sure everything was alright.  When no one answered, he started calling administrative offices in the Main Building.  To his surprise, with so many staff members taking hard-earned vacation days during the students’ absence, the president of the university himself was answering all of the office calls.

“I was so confused!”  Michael told the Rover.  “I mean, he seems like a nice guy.  He talked to me for a while.  He really got excited about some crosswalk thing he is putting in by the stadium.  I was just like, whatever, dude, priorities, come on. You need to quit talking about this crosswalk and focus on my sister.”

Michael soon grew tired of talking with the president, and hung up the phone so he could “text super hilarious emojis” to his girlfriend Katie. She is from outside of Chicago.

Michael and his parents did eventually manage to contact Mary by using carrier goldfish (as beta fish are no longer allowed in the dorms and their pigeons were tired).

Students returning from break on Saturday hoping to spend the weekend practicing for the annual North Quad vs. South Quad First Day of Snow Snowball Fight were sorely disappointed to find that the weather was despicable. The sun shone every day, bringing temperatures to the 60s. Also, there was a definite lack of snow for these poor strategists in their efforts to prepare for the fight.

Here’s hoping the weather improves and Au Bon Pain opens up again soon.

Abigail Bartels thinks bylines are ignored just as much as the iTunes Terms and Conditions. Prove her wrong by contacting her at