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SMC expresses gratitude

Jillian Barwick | Wednesday, December 5, 2012

As they await the much-anticipated announcement of the ticket lottery winners, Saint Mary’s students said they are thankful to be included in the student body pool for the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Junior Kat Sullivan said she has been a Notre Dame football fan since before she could walk. Her dad attended the University and her mom is a Saint Mary’s alumna. Sullivan said her friendships in the joint community are an important part of her experience in the student section.

“Cheering for the Fighting Irish is something that will always be a part of who I am,” Sullivan said. “Some of my best memories of college thus far have been watching the Fighting Irish go ‘onward to victory.’ We all share one common bond – our love of the Notre Dame football team. At the end of the day, the only people who should be fighting are the Fighting Irish.”

Saint Mary’s students receive access to a “proportional” quantity of BCS National Championship Game tickets that is equivalent to their percentage of the total combined Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s student population, according to an email statement from the Notre Dame Ticket Office. There are 2,500 student tickets available in the lottery, the results of which will be announced Monday.

“However, their win rate can be no higher than that of the Notre Dame student lottery. Any excess Saint Mary’s tickets would go to the Notre Dame lottery,” the statement reported.

Senior Autumn Nelson said she hopes the student bodies can remove any sense of entitlement from the lottery drawings and just provide the football team with the support and excitement of a home game.

“I feel like the things that Saint Mary’s has contributed and will continue to contribute have played an integral role in the community that is Notre Dame,” Nelson said. “It’s about supporting a team and supporting each other in this time of overwhelming joy and victory. I hope whoever gets a ticket will cheer just as loud as me, if not louder.”

For senior Meghan Casey, the chance to go to the national championship game and cheer for her team alongside Notre Dame students is just one of the experiences both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame have shared for years.

“I hope that we can look past the differences in the schools and notice that we are all part of the Notre Dame community and camaraderie between the students is what really matters in this situation,” Casey said. “Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame have great traditions that stem from the 1800s and the unity between the schools is what is so beautiful about this place.”

Like Casey, senior Caroline Gallagher has a great love for the traditions between Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame that have been present in her life since she was a little girl.

“I cannot remember a time that I didn’t cheer for the Notre Dame football team,” she said. “My grandfather so proudly passed on his love, for not only Notre Dame football, but for the University as a whole. Although I may not be as fortunate as others in being chosen for the student lottery, I’m going to be cheering on my football team as I celebrate my last Notre Dame game as a student, regardless of whether I am sitting in the student section of the Sun Life Stadium or sitting in a Miami Gardens bar.”

Until the notifications arrive Monday, students at both schools can only wait and hope that they are one of the lucky ones who will receive a ticket from the lottery.

“Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the nation and playing in the national championship,” Sullivan said. “I know what I’ll be watching on Jan. 7.”

For Gallagher, she said times like this football season make her extremely grateful for both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame.

 “In continuing the traditions and relationship alive between two wonderful institutions, I am extremely proud to be a part of the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame family,” Gallagher said.