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STUDENT UNION BOARD: Organization successful in response to student request

Katie Perry | Sunday, December 11, 2005

Notre Dame’s Student Union Board (SUB) charged into the fall semester by delivering big-name acts such as comedian Vince Vaughn and rock group Better than Ezra as part of its mission to satisfy student demand.

SUB director Jimmy Flaherty said one of the group’s main goals this year was to target its weaknesses and maintain its strengths.

“I feel we came a long way with the little things last year, and we were successful, but this year we wanted to crank it up a notch with bigger events while still continuing to excel at the other events,” he said.

Some of the “best student leaders on campus” as well as a focused objective contributed to SUB’s success in the fall semester, Flaherty said, citing such events as Welcome Week, hypnotist Dale K, AcoustiCafe and comedians at Legends.

Flaherty said selection of the fall semester’s two centerpiece shows – Vince Vaughn’s “Wild West” comedy show in October and a Better than Ezra concert in November – was based directly on surveys of student opinion.

SUB receives feedback about events through its dorm representatives. Flaherty said this communication between the group and campus residence halls is essential, as they are “at the heart of campus life.”

As stated in the group’s constitution, SUB seeks to “enhance undergraduate student life” by providing social, intellectual and cultural opportunities that correlate with the needs and wants of the student body each year.

“We work on behalf of [the students], and at the end of last year we heard what they would really like is for big-name entertainers to come to Notre Dame,” SUB programmer Chris Lund said in a Nov. 22 Observer article.

Flaherty said he is “proud” the two larger events were near sellouts. Vaughn’s comedy show sold out almost immediately, as nearly 1,900 students handed over $30 to see the “Wedding Crashers” and “Dodgeball” star live on campus. Flaherty said more than 900 tickets were sold in the first three hours of sales.

Approximately 1,000 tickets were sold for the Dec. 2 Better than Ezra concert. Like Vaughn’s comedy show, the concert was held in the Stepan Center – a venue Lund called a “nice location” for big events.

Flaherty said upcoming SUB events include the Collegiate Jazz Festival and the ND Literary Festival in February, which will feature “Friday Night Lights” author H.G. Bissinger.

“There are really no big events on campus minus The Show, and we’ve already had two in one semester,” he said. “We’re already getting to work on a big show for next semester.”