As students queue up all day in front of the bustling alcove, that is Student Life, Samantha Crow’s popularity becomes evident. Even though her desk has moved to the barely visible nook of the crowded office shared by three other staff, Sam Crow remains the most sought after person at University of Notre Dame’s Student Life office.
As an acting manager and academic support officer at Student Life, Sam helps students to improve their academic skills. She also deals with equity issues.
Walker Alolei, an Arts Law fresher, finds Sam always up for a quick chat.
“She is approachable and friendly. So you don’t feel shy to ask questions… Sam makes us feel at home.”
Student Life runs workshops on essay writing, grammar and presentation skills every semester. Sam, in charge of academic support, also offers consultation one-on-one to students. This pastoral care has successfully led a number of ‘on probation’ students to achieve credit and distinction average.
Very often the Student Life officer is spotted outside her desk, hanging out with students at on-campus events. Matt Beard, secretary of the university’s student association, SAUNDA, notes Sam’s general disinterest in sports but significant presence in sporting events Notre Dame attends.
“I have never seen her upset. Even when Notre Dame loses a game, Sam doesn’t get frustrated. She just tries to make sure everyone is having a good time.”
Sam Crow puts down her formula of discipline and control to her philosophy of life: ‘joy’.
“I love being alive. It’s a weird kind of joyful stoicism I live in.”
Surprisingly, this animated self never hung out with friends during her undergraduate years at Notre Dame’s Freemantle campus. Being a teacher’s pet, She solely focused on finishing her philosophy and politics degree. To an extent, this voluntary exclusion from the student body made Sam realize the importance of extracurricular activities.
“You will forget what grade you achieved in a course, but will always remember the people you know. It helps to build memorable experiences”.
Asked why she chose to immerse herself in philosophy, Sam brings up Aristotle.
“Back in Year Nine, I was told that there was this guy who knew everything about everything. And I thought, how cool is that! I want to be like him.”
Deep down the aspiring philosopher has a passion for teaching, and likes to foster in others her love of learning. Trained as a Special Needs Teacher’s Assistance, she has worked with autistic students in schools, helping them to integrate with rest of the class.
However, instead of being an Academic, Sam chose to contribute to her community in a different way.
“I m not a lawyer or a nurse but I am good at studies, and I love meeting people directly. So I thought I will help people to study.”
And who better to learn from than the highest achieving ungraduate student in Notre Dame’s history?