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Senate discusses football seating

Maddie Daly | Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Student Senate invited Leprechaun Legion president Matt Cunningham to its meeting Wednesday to offer a question-and-answer session regarding the new football ticket policy.        

Student body vice president Nancy Joyce reminded the senators the session was informational and was not capable of changing the Legion’s decision.

Cunningham said the new policy intends to give students more freedom to control where they want to sit during football games.

“I did research at several universities, including University of Alabama and Ohio State University, which all implement a general admission policy,” Cunningham said.  “We found that that this policy does not compromise the students’ game day experience in any way. We don’t think it will be as big an issue as people make it out to be.”

Judicial council president Michael Masi expressed concern about safety.

“I could see situations where the enforcement of this is very difficult,” Masi said.  “For example, if I get up to go to the bathroom or get something to eat, what stops other people from taking my seat?”

Cunningham said such incidents “probably will” happen, but the Legion hopes it will not be a major issue.

“In the past, those front rows are packed – people without tickets end up there, [and] I know a lot of people move around,” he said. “That happened to me last year, where someone would take their seat.  That’s just one of the issues. The last policy wasn’t perfect; this one isn’t perfect. That’s something we hope people don’t take advantage of.”

When asked if students will be able to save seats, Cunningham said technically, no one is allowed to save seats, although enforcement will be difficult.

“It’s the same with basketball. Technically, you’re not allowed to save seats, but it happens,” Cunningham said.  “There’s nothing stopping people from coming to fill in those seats, but hopefully, everyone will be considerate.”

Club Coordination Council president Maggie Armstrong asked what the Legion has planned for entertainment during the extra time in the stadium before the game.

“This was something the whole Legion was really excited about,” Cunningham said.  “We have an opportunity to engage more students and build the energy. If anyone has any ideas [about] how people going to games early would like to be entertained, let us know.  I know at University of North Carolina they have body paint and music before the game, so that’s something we’re looking into.”
As far as the timing is concerned, Cunningham said the gates will open 90 minutes before kickoff at each game.  

When asked how students can become a part of the decision-making process, Cunningham said anyone can apply to be on the board, but the president and vice president have to already have been on the board.

“We want the leaders to have an understanding of how the athletic department works, but every year the applications are open to the whole student body,” he said. “The big thing for us and what we’re trying to improve on is outreach to the students because we’re open to feedback from everybody.”

Contact Maddie Daly at mdaly6@nd.edu