By Christian Henry
The hallways of Notre Dame (ND) are filled with joy, laughter, hope and students.
That’s right, our wonderful students are back and ready to learn! Both students and staff are excited to see what the upcoming school year has to offer. Like last year, there is a lot of uncertainty, and with that comes a little bit of fear. If the past 17 months have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain. However, this fear and uncertainty is overshadowed by hope and cautious optimism.
While we return to school hoping this year will be a bit more normal than the last one, we know that some changes will stay. Our students have never been afraid to take a stand on social justice issues. As a school with a largely racialized population, it is of utmost importance to us that everyone that steps through the doors of ND feels welcome in our school community. The Black Student Association—inspired by last year’s Black Student Leadership program with Ron Omara—will ensure our racialized students have a strong voice in our school community.
In addition, as a Catholic school, we must acknowledge the role that the Catholic Church played in Canada’s residential school system. As a school community, we must vow to work towards reconciliation — not only on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but all year long.
Another exciting change for both students and staff is that sports are back! Sports have a way of bringing communities together no matter the circumstances. This is already happening at ND. Students who have been separated due to virtual learning are now reunited by the love of sport. At the moment, extremely strong soccer, volleyball, touch football, tennis, cross-country and ultimate frisbee teams are already being assembled. Many other sports teams, like basketball, will be formed later this year.
Finally, we are hopeful in bringing back the in-person events we have missed so much over the past two years. We are looking forward to bringing the school together for pep rallies and the traditional Grads vs. Staff games—always exciting events. Students of all grades are hoping to be able to have dances and other events later this year as well.
There is little doubt that this year will be nothing short of amazing! This year will be a year for us Eagles to celebrate with each other. We are finally back together at school, and we are ready to take on another school year. No matter what this year may bring, we are ready for it. We will soar like eagles through every obstacle that comes our way.
No matter the circumstances, one thing is always true: nothing can stop this flock of Silver Eagles.