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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Members discuss basketball tickets, future of Copy Shop

Controversy surrounding the basketball ticketing system provoked debate at Student Senate's Wednesday night meeting, which also heard discussion on the Copy Shop.

Student body vice president Lizzi Shappell said she met with Josh Berlo in Basketball Operations to ask about the possibility of changing the ticket options available to students, including a split-ticket system designed to increase attendance.

However, Shappell said Berlo dismissed the idea almost immediately, citing men's basketball coach Mike Brey's disapproval.

"Coach Brey doesn't like that idea - he wants one united fan base," Shappell said.

Last year, Shappell said student government representatives met with Berlo to request that more basketball student tickets be sold to students. The deal, Shappell said, was that if student attendance increased, Basketball Operations would consider selling more tickets.

But attendance numbers this year "were comparable with, if not worse than last year's," Shappell said.

This year, the average game attendance was between 1,400 and 1,500 students, about half of the 2,800 undergraduate tickets sold.

One change that will occur next year is the inclusion of Ticket Share information in the letters given to students who purchase tickets, Shappell said.

Student body president Dave Baron explained Ticket Share, a free ticket-swapping program currently organized through the dorms. Last year, big posters with "give" and "take" columns were hung in the dorms, Baron said, resulting in "modest success - nothing outstanding."

Shappell noted two other changes regarding pricing and purchasing. Due to inflation, ticket prices will increase across the board, going up to $60 for students - although Berlo emphasized it was still the cheapest undergraduate student ticket found at schools with competitive basketball teams.

While the ticket purchasing time will not change - either a Tuesday or Thursday at 7 a.m. - each student ID will only be able to purchase four tickets as opposed to this year's six.

Shappell said she asked Berlo about letting students without tickets come to games on a "late arrival" basis, at a designated time midway through the first half, if student seats were still vacant.

"However, General Counsel would probably have a problem with this," Shappell said, since there is a disclaimer on tickets saying Notre Dame is not responsible for any injuries.

Dillon senator Dan Brown proposed an incentives program where students with a certain attendance level would be guaranteed to get tickets next year, while those under a specified attendance level would be suspended from next year's purchasing process.

Alumni senator Andrew Beatty agreed with Brown.

"Something like that really seems to work getting attendance at lesser games," he said.

While Siegfried senator Ben Gunty said he felt "split ticketing isn't going to do anything," Baron stood behind the idea.

"With split ticketing, you're spreading it out so more people are available to go," Baron said. "There should be something in the middle, not all in or all out."

O'Neill senator Steve Tortorello also supported a split ticket package.

"Your diehard fans are going to be the first ones there anyway [to get the full ticket package], and they're going to go to all the games," he said. "I don't see the problem."

Shappell said Basketball Operations expected a renovation of the Joyce Center "in the next few years," which could lead to changing student seating at games.

"Coach Brey is pushing for the 'Duke style' - he's very adamant about getting students as close to the court as possible," Shappell said.

University Affairs committee chair Matt Walsh explained the possibility of the Copy Shop closing, although he admitted he did not fully understand the situation since he hasn't officially met with manager Terri Teeple yet.

"She [Teeple] would like a letter from us getting student body support for keeping the Copy Shop in LaFortune," Walsh said. "She's scared they might get kicked out."

When questioned about the Copy Shop potentially closing, Walsh said Teeple was evasive.

"She was hesitant to tell me," he said. "I don't really know the full story behind it."

Walsh said he supported writing a letter on behalf of the Copy Shop due to its low prices, convenience, network capabilities and experience.

"They've been here for 20 years - they know what they're doing," Walsh said.

Although most senators supported helping the Copy Shop, many said they felt students were unaware of its existence and that alternatives should be explored.

"We need to look into all options," Keough senator Rob Lindley said. "We need to do what's best for the student body."

Zahm senator Patrick Knapp suggested that Walsh ask Teeple about allowing students to use their printing money at the Copy Shop.

In other Senate news:

u A resolution was passed supporting the sending of a letter to Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Poorman, inviting him to an Aug. 31, 2005 Senate meeting and reception afterwards in the Student Government Office.

"It's sort of an opening of our doors to [Student Affairs]," Baron said.

u Katie Fox, president of The Shirt, assumed the podium at the beginning of the meeting to talk about the unveiling of The Shirt 2005 this Friday at noon at Hammes Bookstore, encouraging senators to come and tell their dorm constituencies.

"So much of Notre Dame is about unity," Fox said. "The Shirt hopes to do that."

The Shirt will be on sale for $11, with half of the proceeds going to Student Activities and the other half going to charity. Irish head football coach Charlie Weis will speak, and free food will be offered.