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STUDENT UNION BOARD: Group revitalizes old traditions, changes advertising methods

Laura McCrystal | Wednesday, December 9, 2009

 The Student Union Board (SUB) set out to improve and increase the popularity of traditional campus events this year, SUB manager Kat Burke said. 

“It’s a lot of tradition with a lot of new and I hope that’s what we’ll continue to bring next semester,” Burke said. “I think we are continually pushing the envelope and challenging our events to go bigger.”

Burke said SUB coordinates many events that have been traditions on campus for years, such as the Notre Dame Literary Festival and Acousticafé, and she wants to renew student enthusiasm and generate new ideas.

SUB should “demonstrate how important it is to give back to our roots by taking what’s classic and making it new and exciting and full of life again,” she said.

The Notre Dame Literary Festival has existed for more than 40 years, but this year was the first time that it took place over the course of three days in true festival style, Burke said. 

“Last year it was very limited attendance to all of the events and this year the attendance was just amazing,” Burke said “In the 40-plus years of the event it’s great to see new life brought into it.”

One strategy SUB used to generate student participation in the festival was the Notre Dame short story in the Viewpoint section of The Observer, which allowed students to submit parts of a story and see their own writing in the newspaper. 

Burke said SUB’s approach to the Literary Festival represented the group’s overall goal to incorporate new ideas into traditional events. 

“I think that’s the approach that we’re taking,” she said. “I think a lot of that is trying to tap into what students want.”

Burke said the most exciting new event this fall was a visit from an actor and director of “Boondock Saints 2,” as well as an extended showing of the film.

The event was a free but ticketed event for students, and Burke said the line for tickets reached capacity 30 minutes before the box office opened.

“More than just the number and the audience, it’s the presence that Notre Dame students bring with how excited they get about different events,” she said. “And that’s really what we strive for.”

Burke said SUB will host more events during the spring semester because football season is over. Last weekend, musician Joshua Radin came to Legends. Next semester’s events will include a larger concert in Stepan Center, two comedy shows, the 52nd annual Collegiate Jazz Festival, the comedy group Second City and the spring Antostal festival.

SUB has also changed its method of advertising its events this year, Burke said.

“We’ve moved away from bombarding students with e-mails,” she said.

Instead, she said SUB has placed greater emphasis on its creative posters and other forms of communication, such as a commercial the group recently filmed with NDtv and giveaways to students such as water bottles and sunglasses. 


SUB has made positive progress toward its goal to revitalize traditional events and increase student turnout as well as bring new events to campus that will generate enthusiasm among the student body.