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Interest in SUB activities varies

Jarrett Lantz | Friday, April 15, 2005

South Bend has long lacked a venue for pop stars, a multitude of activities for students and the essence of a true college town, but Notre Dame’s Student Union Board and Legends nightclub are working hard to show students that a good time can be had right here on campus. Students, however, differ over how well these events cater to their needs and tastes.

This past year, Legends and SUB have each had record-breaking attendance, stemming from their inclusion of more on-campus events. Both SUB and Legends provide students with several activities on various nights of the week.

SUB is best known for showing movies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but the organization has also hosted many different activities this year such as the Collegiate Jazz Festival, concerts at Legends, the Race and Religion Symposium, Rob Gonzales in concert, the Second City comedy show and more. But, while SUB does offer a variety of events, many still see the organization as fairly one-sided.

“My perception is that SUB just does movies,” Knott freshmen Nick McLees said. “But what I know they do, I like.”

Tim Gibeau, a Keenan fifth-year student, also agreed that more advertising of on-campus events might increase attendence.

“Honestly, I’m not really familiar with what’s offered by the Student Union Board,” Gibeau said.

SUB manager Jimmy Flaherty agreed that there were some problems with the program. However, he noted that this year was one of SUB’s most successful and that next year’s group of SUB leaders is working even harder to improve the quality of campus life for all students.

“This year we’re going to be working towards areas where we can improve, specifically our internal processes and public relations,” Flaherty said. “We’ve created a new [public relations] division to heighten our positive effect and image on campus.”

For those more interested in dancing and bar hopping, Legends also provides several entertainment options for the weekend. Thursday through Saturday, Legends offers student performances, professional comedy, nightclub dancing, movie watches and more, along with a bar for those of age.

“I like Thursday nights when a lot of the seniors go and hang out,” Cavanaugh senior Erin Marx said. “Legends is nice if you don’t have time to go off-campus but still want to do something for an hour or two.”

And while Legends does not often bring big-name bands to its venue, students overall have been pleased with the quality of both the comedy and music shows.

“Our goal is to bring in up and coming bands and musicians,” Legends program coordinator Aaron Perri said. “A year from now, maybe two or three, we’d like our fans to say, ‘Yeah, I saw them in concert when I was in college before they were real big, they were amazing – I even got an autograph and my picture taken with them.'”

Between SUB, Legends, and other groups, many students feel like there are enough things to do on-campus for weekend nights.

“I think what they have going on is great,” said Cavanaugh freshmen Mary Beugelsdijk. “Both groups do an excellent job.”

Colleen Loris, also a freshmen, agreed that Notre Dame students are provided with enough of both on and off-campus opportunities for students to have fun on the weekends.

“There are definitely enough activities on campus,” said freshmen Colleen Loris. “But when you have an accessible car, it’s fun to get off-campus for a while too.”

Many other students agree that Legends and SUB have a solid programming lineup, but also enjoy taking part in off-campus events as well. Many upperclassmen in particular prefer to spend their weekends off-campus by visiting bars or apartments.

“Most of my weekend life involves off-campus activities instead of on-campus,” Gibeau said.

“On campus there isn’t enough variety of bars,” agreed Marx. “Legends is a good bar, but anything gets monotonous after a while.”

However, despite some older students favoring off-campus events, lately Legends has brought in upwards of 4,000 people each month, with April poised to be the club’s busiest ever. Still, Perri sees a lot of room for growth.

“The potential for this place is amazing. Sometimes I think students don’t realize what they have in Legends,” Perri said. “Everything we do here is free and we have a nightclub, bar and live entertainment venue right on-campus. Not many schools have that.”