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Legion accepted for probationary club status

Anna Gelhaus | Friday, April 2, 2004

After three years of aiming to improve the home court advantage at men’s basketball games by uniting the student section into a heckling green mass, the Leprechaun Legion will now set its sights on service activities after being granted probationary club status by Student Activities. Drew Updike, president of the Leprechaun Legion, said the club’s new recognition gives it many more positive opportunities.”It has really legitimized everything,” he said. “It has opened up doors [and] gives us more options. That’s why we chose to go for it.” In addition to being granted basic club benefits, Updike hopes their new status will allow them to work with charities. One plan is to collaborate with the Boys & Girls Club to give South Bend kids a chance to attend the basketball games. He also hopes they can assist Coaches vs. Cancer, a favorite charity of Irish coach Mike Brey. Coaches vs. Cancer is an American Cancer Society program united with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Established in 1993, it has collected over $22 million in the fight against cancer. The Legion hopes to generate the extra funds through widespread sales of their shirts. This year, with aid from the athletic department, 3,000 “Standing Room Only” T-shirts were given to students who purchased season tickets. Updike says the Legion hopes to sell the shirts to the general public in the bookstore and Varsity Shop next year. “We know the public will want to buy and wear whatever the students are wearing,” he said. “If we can provide a shirt, it’s the first step in generating … funds for us, but also to generate enough so we can donate to charities.”Updike pointed to the shirt as a uniting factor at games. Sayings such as “Improving your homecourt advantage since 1842” and “The only place on campus where nothing is sacred” have graced the shirts of years past. The Legion is holding a contest for the design of the 2004-05 shirt. Shirt ideas can be e-mailed to Updike by April 7, and the winning entry gets free season basketball tickets from the Legion.As they did this year, the Legion hopes to continue providing students with free T-shirts, as well as host game-watches and bus trips. Being recognized by the Student Activities Office involves a multi-step application process. The prospective group must present a file with several documents such as a club constitution, proposed budget and schedule, at least four club officers and a club sponsor. In the case of the Leprechaun Legion, “We worked pretty closely with the athletic department,” said Amy Geist, coordinator of student groups. “[The Legion] had done a lot of work with them. They were a big sponsoring group.” Applications for clubs are reviewed only once a year. If they meet all criteria, the group is granted probationary club status. This entitles them to several benefits such as funding, a mailbox and NetID and the ability to reserve areas for their use and post signs on campus. Next January, the club will be reviewed, and either granted full club status, extended probationary status or denied, Geist explained.Updike said he was enthusiastic about the new opportunities that official club status will allow the group.”The mission of the Legion is to improve men’s basketball here at Notre Dame by doing things that haven’t been done in the recent past,” he said.