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Judges reivew Shirt designs

Meryl Guyer | Friday, January 16, 2004

The Shirt selection process continued this week with final design submissions sent to Katie Crossin, president of the project. The winner will be notified in the upcoming weeks, at which point he or she will receive a $200 award and assist Crossin and the rest of The Shirt production staff with the project.

The winner’s design will be used for the 2004-05 Shirt, although there will be some necessary alterations made to accommodate moving the design from paper to fabric.

And the color of the 2004-05 shirt?

“[That’s] the thousand dollar question,” Crossin said.

While participants were requested to submit at least one design in the familiar kelly green color, the committee has not definitively chosen that color for the new shirts.

Eight designers were chosen to be finalists from a first round of submissions turned in Nov. 26. This preliminary design was very general, left up to the creativity of the applicant. Some submissions were just concepts or ideas rather than full designs, Crossin said.

The competition attracted a variety of individuals from different majors, although contestants were not asked their majors when applying, and roughly 50 percent of the designs exhibited some previous graphic design experience, Crossin said.

This is the 14th year of The Shirt tradition at Notre Dame, which began as an independent student project initiated by Brennan Harvath to cover medical costs for a graduate student injured in a hit-and-run accident. The Shirt’s purpose was to unify students as well as raise funds for the unexpected costs.

The 1990 home opener football game versus Michigan featured 85 percent of the student body in The Shirt and 9,500 shirts were sold that season.

After its first two years of production, the Hammes Bookstore, along with other campus stores, picked up The Shirt, which contributed to increased sales.

This year’s Shirt continues in its tradition with a student-run focus said Crossin, and much of the decision-making is left to students, although The Shirt project is now joined by members of the Alumni Association, the Student Senate, the Hammes Bookstore and the Financial Management Board.

Proceeds from shirt sales are divided in two. Half of the money supports student clubs and organizations, and the other half fulfills the original purpose of covering unforeseen medical costs for students, Crossin said. Within the latter half there is also a “rector fund,” which is given to the care of rectors to dispense to students in financial need in order to purchase items like dance tickets and other extras that help them participate in more campus life events.

With The Shirt’s continued success, there has been discussion about increasing compensation for the selected designer, which is now $200. However, with the history of the project as a social service and the fact that positions within the project, including that of the President, are completely voluntary, no decision to increase the prize amount has been made, Crossin said.