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Shappell defends SUB decision

Kathleen McDonnell | Wednesday, November 1, 2006

A spotlight on the Student Union Board (SUB), and the controversy surrounding its decision to exclude graduate students from the USC student ticket lottery, was the focus of Tuesday’s meeting of the Council of Representatives (COR) in LaFortune.

Student body president Lizzi Shappell said the move was mutually agreed upon by her administration.

“I stand behind that decision,” Shappell said. “In no way are we trying to be malicious towards graduate students or treat them as less than first class citizens.”

SUB manager Pat Vassel and Shappell said there will be opportunities in the future for more discussion between SUB and graduate students to make sure each side is treated fairly.

On a lighter note, and in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, two Lizzi Shappells answered the role call, as student body vice president Bill Andrichik paraded as his co-leader for Halloween. The true Shappell, however, quickly restored order and introduced Vassel as the first presenter in a series of spotlights on organizations whose leaders comprise COR.

“We will be highlighting an organization each week,” Shappell said, “to let the entire body see what each of our groups is doing.”

A better understanding of the workings of each group will allow members to work as a more effective soundboard for one another, she said.

Vassel gave a brief overview of SUB’s role in student government and discussed the projects and obstacles worked through so far this semester.

Toward the end of September, Vassel explained, SUB – student government’s programming arm – organized a “dorm invasion tour” to publicize their events. He emphasized the importance of the wish lists passed out by SUB representatives in each dorm. Vassel said the organization always encourages student feedback and very often receives e-mails requesting particular events, concerts or speakers.

He also explained the new mode of publicity SUB is pursuing this fall.

“We’re going to try to let a random group of students know about each event in addition to the normal signs posted,” Vassel said. “One hundred students will receive a flyer in the mail as another way to get the word out.”

While he applauded former SUB manager Jimmy Flaherty’s job of raising campus awareness of SUB’s programming, Vassel said SUB is always working to further promote the events that 60 students gather to organize each Monday night.

Programmers, graphic designers, marketing assistants, controllers and next spring, for the first time, a public relations specialist, all work together under a budget of $217,000 to entertain and educate Notre Dame students, Vassel said.

Vassel praised the work of dorm representatives, a relatively new addition to the SUB body.

“We’ve seen in just a couple of years [dorm reps’] rise to prominence in the organization,” Vassel said.

The rest of Vassel’s presentation consisted of an explanation of tomorrow’s USC ticket lottery. SUB received complaints from a number of students desiring an earlier lottery date, but as Vassel explained, “SUB just received the tickets yesterday, so we couldn’t have had the lottery earlier.”

Notre Dame’s athletic department works with the athletic department of the away school to procure the maximum number of tickets possible for Notre Dame students, Vassel said, and it is only when SUB physically possesses the tickets from the athletic department that a lottery can take place.