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Senate discusses updated ticket plans, sustainability

| Thursday, October 8, 2015

Student Senate met Wednesday night to hear presentations on the new men’s basketball and hockey student ticket plan, local and sustainable food initiatives and student government’s report to the board of trustees.

Senate was closed to the public when student body president Bryan Ricketts, student body vice president Nidia Ruelas and chief of staff Dan Sehlhorst presented the student government sexual violence report, which will be delivered to the board of trustees Oct. 15.

Brian Pracht, assistant athletic director, gave the first presentation on the new ticket plan for men’s basketball and hockey.

“We’re not selling a season pass anymore — it’s going to be complimentary tickets,” he said. “But there’s going to be a three-day window for you to claim these tickets online.”

Pracht said there will be no advantage to waking up early on the first day to claim tickets because students who go to more games will be given preference for ones that are expected to draw a large crowd.

“We will weight it so that the more games you go to, the better opportunity you will have to attend the big games,” he said. “So if you go to every game prior to the North Carolina game, you will get a ticket to North Carolina. If you go to two games before North Carolina, I don’t know. You’ll have to play the odds. We’re definitely going to reward students.”

Students will still be able to buy tickets at a walk-up price before the game if space is available, Pracht said.

“We knew we needed to do something different,” he said. “We were selling 1,500 to 2,000 student season passes a year and the show rate for students with those passes was 30 percent. So not very good.”

More information can be found at und.com/student-tickets.

Sophomore Carolyn Yvellez, a staff member at the department of social concerns and a Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) intern, gave a presentation about increasing the amount of local and sustainable food on campus.

“Food Services started the project of defining what local food is,” she said. “We’ve defined “local” as 250 miles from campus. We currently spend about $3.5 million supporting local farms and 38 percent of the dining hall food is from local sources.”

Yvellez said that in a survey, students said they were more concerned about having healthy options than they were about having local options.

“The current industrial model is not a sustainable model for providing food,” she said. “[There are] debates about how much it’s threatening public health through creating antibiotic resistant bacteria, pesticides and disease. In general, local farms have a lower risk for these issues.”

After filling out a survey, the senators discussed problems surrounding local food sources and sustainability efforts on campus and potential changes, including eliminating trays and changing food options in LaFortune Student Center.

“With people already so upset about the styrofoam cups leaving the dining halls, there would be a riot if the trays disappeared,” Amy Smikle, Howard Hall senator, said. “I’m getting so much negative feedback and comments about the styrofoam cups disappearing, the trays disappearing isn’t going to go well. How do we tell them it’s better for the environment when they don’t even care about the styrofoam cups?”

Yvellez also said NDFS is looking for replacements for the Burger King in LaFortune and that a more local and sustainable replacement is under consideration.

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About Megan Valley

Megan Valley was Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. She majored in English and the Program of Liberal Studies and hailed from Flushing, Michigan.

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