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SUB expects well-run lottery

Amanda Michaels | Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Keeping in mind last year’s debacle – when 1,500 students lined up for tickets, leading to confusion, long lines and outrage – the Student Union Board said it is prepared to handle the rush of students expected to queue up for the Michigan State away game ticket lottery today. The event, plagued in the past by fraud, organization and hundreds of irate students left with nothing after hours in line, is well in hand this year, said SUB president Jimmy Flaherty. Over 1,500 students lined up for tickets to the University of Michigan away game last September – the second largest crowd in the lottery’s history.At that lottery, SUB placed no limits on the number of IDs per student, producing long lines, and ended the lottery earlier than necessary because organizers misinterpreted NCAA and Indiana state rules governing lotteries. Prior to 2003, lotteries were plagued with fraud as individuals who were not students and SUB staff members obtained tickets. Now, SUB uses a machine to check student Ids. However, changes in location and hours should prevent similar problems this year, Flaherty said.”Last year’s issues with the ticket lottery occurred with the first one of the year when the lottery was held both at Reckers and the North Dining Hall,” he said. “Last year’s Executive Board recognized the issues and made great changes to the process by switching it to Legends and making the guidelines more explicit.”Like last year, Flaherty said the lottery would not be open to Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students. He said the decision was made after lengthy discussion among SUB members and representatives of the College.”It’s just a decision we made as an executive board, based on what we did last year,” he said. “We are the Notre Dame Student Union Board, and it’s our job to serve the Notre Dame student body.”Tickets will be distributed on the club side of Legends from noon to 5 p.m., Flaherty said. Organizers will assign as many lottery tickets as they can within that time period, he said, but winners will be drawn only for the approximately 140 pairs of tickets supplied to SUB by the Office of Student Activities and the Athletic Department.The system, which Flaherty described as “basic and clear,” details that students can bring up to six IDs per person and will be given an instruction sheet along with their lottery numbers to minimize confusion. IDs will be scanned to secure the system against fraud. Contrary to past reports, the ticket lottery does not fall under the regulation of Indiana state law or the NCAA, said Flaherty.The winning numbers will be selected after the lottery is closed and will be posted at the SUB office and in The Observer Wednesday. Students will be able to purchase their tickets at the LaFortune box office. Despite the football team’s less than stellar start, Flaherty said that he does not expect a drop-off in the number of students vying for a ticket.”I think traveling to away football games are a great experience for students and NotreDame students are going to be excited to travel up to East Lansing to the cheeron the Irish,” he said. Sophomore Stephanie Best said that a long wait, not the football team’s record, would be the main deterrent. “I know that a lot of people waited for hours in huge long lines last year. I don’t want to stand in line all day for it – I’d rather buy tickets from someone standing outside the stadium on game day,” she said. “Whether I go or not it depends how long the lines are.”Keenan sophomore Gary Jost, still deciding on whether to take his chances on the lottery, had the opposite logic in mind.”A lottery is a lottery – you wait in line and you either get it or you don’t,” he said. “But I’m not too confident [in the football team]. I think Michigan State’s a better team than BYU.” SUB will also oversee a ticket lottery for the Oct. 16 Navy away game.