The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Student Union Board: Leaders bring impressive programming to campus

Steve Kerins | Monday, December 11, 2006

Notre Dame’s Student Union Board (SUB) hit the ground running this semester, satisfying the varied demands of the student body with a packed schedule of events including big-name musicians, popular movies and midterm stress relievers.

SUB manager Patrick Vassel said the group’s objective this year was to build on previous successes, bringing bigger and better events to students.

Vassel did just that early this fall with the popularity of the Fall Mall sales event and the packed-to-capacity performance of rock band Rooney at Legends. Then, with a string of home football games competing for students’ attention, SUB successfully focused its efforts on promoting awareness of upcoming events and soliciting suggestions.

After fall break, SUB co-sponsored a show by pianist and singer Vienna Teng with the Asian American Association, and ramped up its AcoustiCafe program by hosting a well-attended performance by singer-songwriter Matt Wertz.

SUB also planned and executed a sold-out concert by Ben Folds, which was well-received despite the Stepan Center’s leaking roof.

In November, the organization found itself embroiled in controversy for its plan to exclude graduate, law and MBA students from the ticket lottery for the Nov. 25 Notre Dame-USC football game. Its decision, which Vassel said was made to maximize the number of tickets available for undergraduates, was reversed at the last minute at the request of the Office of Student Affairs.

“We disagreed with the decision made by Student Affairs, but we felt we had no choice but to follow it. … So all future lotteries will include graduate students per Student Affairs and that’s sort of where we stand on it,” Vassel said.

Vassel’s deference to the Office of Student Affairs should be commended. Had SUB refused Student Affairs’ orders, the organization’s future autonomy could have been jeopardized.

Vassel clearly knows what the students want. His commitment to bring entertaining and varied programming to Notre Dame has improved campus culture and breathed new life into the Student Union Board.