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Council discusses ND gameday music

John Cameron | Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Following Saturday’s modified canned, or recorded, music usage during the football game, the Council of Representatives focused its Tuesday meeting on reviewing student feedback and debating changes.

Student body president Pat McCormick outlined what he perceived to be the general consensus on campus.

“For those who follow the viewpoints and general conversation, there seem to be two general views,” McCormick said. “One, that this is part of a longer trajectory that will put us in a place to modernize the Notre Dame football experience while maintaining tradition; and another that says we should prioritize tradition and continue to make that a principal focus.”

McCormick said student government could help find a compromise between the diverging perspectives.

“It looks like we may take a more assertive role in offering feedback to Gameday Operations,” he said. “There’s a huge opportunity to find middle ground here … How do we maintain tradition while creating the best, competitive environment for our team?”

At last week’s meeting, representatives discussed the implications of the canned music on the band members. First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) director Ricky Bevington outlined the results of a survey sent to the band.

“It appeared that they kind of had a mixed review on the situation just like the rest of the student body,” Bevington said. “The important thing to the band is that, because they’re part of the gameday experience, they should be part of the discussion. We need to make sure the gameday experience is more than just an athletic thing, that it considers a lot of students on campus.”

Sophomore class president Nicholas Schilling offered some of the opinions he had personally gathered from band members.

“One guy said he doesn’t want to get out there and bust his butt every night for a week just to have AC/DC play over him,” he said. “The other recurring theme was the concern that when you start [changing gameday music traditions], where and how do you stop?”

Junior class president Kevin Doherty said the band was not the only group on the field affected by the music.

“I noticed that when the canned music was playing, the players got more excited … I don’t see that as much with just the band on the field,” he said. “If we’re talking about interest groups to look at, I think players on the field are important.”

McCormick said Doherty’s observation was evident in player interviews.

“Player excitement is supported by post-game interviews,” he said. “They commented that the atmosphere was much more electric and the canned music seemed to contribute to that.”

Schilling argued for tradition over modernization.

“I guess I’m more of a purist in that I’m going to take the band over Guns ‘n Roses or AC/DC any day,” he said. “The band is what makes Notre Dame different.”