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Fair caters to off-campus students

Mary Kate Malone | Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Students living off-campus trickled into Notre Dame Stadium Monday afternoon to pick up football tickets and meal plans at the first ever off-campus fair – the brainchild of the new student government administration of Dave Baron and Lizzi Shappell.Designed to inform the student body and provide them with off-campus living and safety tips, the fair also morphed into an event for local vendors to advertise their products, Baron said.”This event came out of last year’s fall Board of Trustees report on off-campus safety,” he said.The fair was not mandatory but was the only means for students living off campus to pick up their football tickets.For senior Dan Tudesco, the fair and the ticket pick-up was not worth the 45 minutes he spent driving to the stadium and waiting in line. “I think this [the fair] just makes everything a lot more complicated,” Tudesco said. “It’s ridiculous. There are way too many steps in the ticket purchase process.”Seniors had to pick up their ticket applications at the fair, wait in line later to receive their lottery numbers and then return Tuesday to purchase their tickets. In recent years students living off campus have voiced concerns that it is not convenient to drive to campus multiple times in order to receive their tickets. But Baron believes the fair and the ticket process make it easier for students off campus to sign up for services they need.”We like to make it as convenient as possible,” Baron said. “It’s a good idea to hold an information fair for students because for many of them this is their first time living alone.”For many students, the free samples were tasty perks.Senior Peter Kralovec enjoyed a slice of Papa John’s pizza while making his way to the Notre Dame food services table. “I came to get football tickets, a meal plan and pizza,” Kralovec said.Safety was already an issue discussed in his house on Napoleon Street, Kralovec said.”Security and safety is a priority,” Kralovec said. “Plus, this fair is an opportunity to have a mini-orientation and to reconnect with who is and isn’t living off campus.”At the South Bend Police Department table, Officer Aaron Cassel chatted with Officer Patrick Hechlinski behind stacks of safety pamphlets.”Some kids feel okay approaching us,” Hellinski said. “We have a lot of good information for students to be aware of.”Crowds gathered around the SupperShop.com table – where representatives were serving free lasagna and Mexican beef for lunch. Martin’s Supermarket had sushi and cookie samples, as well.