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Offer ‘better’ alternatives

Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 17, 2008

As a Notre Dame basketball fan and a concerned alum, I feel compelled to respond to what I consider a great insult made by your administrators in the Mar. 14 article, “NDSP inconsistent with ‘Breytopia.'” Is it possible for your administrators, namely Bill Kirk, to answer simple questions and be accountable for their decisions without running off a litany of excuses that site “safety” or “security” as principle motives for enforcing inapplicable rules? Newsflash: Providing a reasonable answer to a viable question is not the same as putting together vague words into a statement – this is what your administrators and university spokespeople did last week when they lent no real insight into why they stood behind NDSP’s decision to ban excited fans from lining up pre-game for general admission seating. It’s like feeding a dog a full colon and calling it a steak and then expecting him to believe it’s a steak.

The main reason why this all bothers me is that when I came to my first home basketball game in fall 2001, the atmosphere in the Joyce Center was laughable. Over the next four years – with the support of the athletic department, winning seasons provided by the team, Coach Brey’s enthusiasm, Student Activities’ funding and initiative on the students’ part – we created a home court atmosphere that rivals the nation’s best college basketball programs. It took all of these key components and none of it would have been achieved without all of them. Now your administrators seem to think that enforcing a silly, inapplicable rule is more important than maintaining this lofty status (being undefeated at home the last two seasons says a lot).

Here is my thesis: If Bill Kirk (or any other administrator) says that there are “better,” “safer” or more “secure” ways to show support for your team than assembling hours or even days prior to gametime (while they still support utilizing a general admissions seating scheme), then I say tell students what it is exactly you would like for them to do. It’s very easy to say that things can be better, but until you actually figure out anything that supports this team, this program and this university, I refuse to give credence to that argument.

Along with other students, I spent a lot of time and energy working with the groups mentioned earlier to build the excitement to where it is now. At no time did anyone from the Office of Residence Life and Housing offer any words of encouragement, support or “better” ideas to aid us in the cause – which is a noble one and one which is in line with the mission of the university. In no way is it appropriate for that office or administration to criticize operations afoot which are neither unsafe or insecure. In my estimation, the only thing that is insecure in all of this is that office’s ability to control the lives of students at Notre Dame and that is exactly why they chose to make an example of these hard working students who do more than most to support their team, their program and their university.

Drew Updike


Class of 2005

Mar. 16