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Championship ticket tension

Meghan Thomassen | Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To many Notre Dame students’ frustration, Saint Mary’s students will also vie for the 2,500 tickets made available for students to the BCS National Championship Bowl Game vs. Alabama to be held in Miami, Fla., on Jan. 7.

Junior Katie Fusco said she is uncomfortable with Saint Mary’s students being included in the Notre Dame student lottery, especially with an anonymous Notre Dame alumnus donating to lower the price of student tickets. She said she has nothing against the University’s sister institution, especially since her mother attended Saint Mary’s.

“My mom thinks it’s ridiculous too,” Fusco said. “What bothers me is that we have this concerned alumnus who has donated money, and Saint Mary’s students … are going to reap the benefits of half-price tickets, especially when they don’t even go to Notre Dame.

“They don’t even contribute money back to the University. It’s our institution. I think they should have their own lottery of, say, 200 tickets or a smaller number within their own student body so it’s not a free-for-all.”

Fusco said she thinks Saint Mary’s students should have some sort of access to student tickets.

“They do support the team and they do cheer on the team at football games,” she said. “But at the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that we’re two different schools. … I pay $50,000 to come here and they don’t even pay that.”

Junior Marcus Liddell said he was enthused when he discovered an anonymous alumnus donated funds to reduce the student lottery ticket price.

“I was gearing myself up to pay $350 for tickets, and then I found out they’re going to be half of that,” he said. “I think it’s a symptom of the great alumni network and the connection there is here, especially with football. And I’m glad to see the alumni still care.”

He said Saint Mary’s students should be included in the Notre Dame student ticket lottery.

“They have a right to participate fully,” Liddell said. “They’re part of the football team too.”

Senior Jake Coleman said even though he did not enter the lottery, he understood why students were frustrated.

“They might be frustrated because they think the priority should be given to students who go to Notre Dame,” he said. “A lot of my friends entering the lottery will be disappointed if they don’t get tickets.”

Coleman said the anonymous donation was a tremendous act of charity.

“I guess it’s almost predictable for Notre Dame alumni,” he said. “I found it predictable that a Notre Dame alumnus would want to help Notre Dame students, but that doesn’t take away from their generosity.

Sophomore Carmen Casillas said even though she also didn’t apply for tickets, she thought Notre Dame students have a right to be upset about their diminished chances in the lottery.

“I just think that Notre Dame students deserve their tickets a little more,” she said. “We are actually at the University. We are the students at the University going to the national championship. And they’re only from the sister [school]. If anything, Notre Dame students should get first priority. Saint Mary’s … students shouldn’t be given equal footing.”