Pandemic Library Lawn

University of Notre Dame: You have hand santiser; this university has an outdoor resort

Editors Notes

In 2019, who would have guessed that the social element of Freshers would become its critical point of failure?

Inductions, parties and signing up to societies… Even if you are the most introverted member of The English Literature Club (ahem*), all of these things require at least some sort of social interaction.

With it being ill advise to meet indoors, University of Notre Dame went beyond “campus gazebo” to a full resort-quality outdoor experience.

Fire pits, giant board games, luxury seating, fairground lighting, open grill cooking and (most importantly) a covid-secure space to meet new people.

What’s the lesson here?

If you know what your audience need, don’t be afraid to go all in and make your mark.

By creating a “talking point” at the heart of campus, Notre Dame enabled word to spread that the library lawn was a place to gather and meet fellow classmates.

The idea has longevity too.

Turning the absence of large indoor events into something unique and remarkable, the University has made the lawn a permanent feature and marketable asset.

All this from a single point of failure.

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