President of "The Shirt" committee defends decision
Letter to the Editor
As head coordinator of "The Shirt," I feel compelled to respond to yesterday's article entitled "Student questions `The Shirt's' new design concept. This article is full of false information and may be the least objective article The Observer has ever printed.
Contrary to the article, "The Shirt" is student-run. Every year, students choose the design of the shirt, the color and the manufacturer. They negotiate with vendors, deliver the shirts and handle marketing. University officials are not involved in any of these activities. As President, I am the one who, in the end, not only chose the design, but helped design it as well. I also was the one who chose the manufacturer for the Shirt, Cadre Athletic.
No Notre Dame official made that decision, I did. Regarding Neil Fitzpatrick, we apologize that his design was not allowed by the administration, but that was beyond our control. This is the most visible shirt Notre Dame produces. Tens of thousands of these shirts will be seen on NBC weekly. The administration has the obligation to make sure "The Shirt" passes certain standards. I had the best interest of the student body when I made the decision to create a new design. The design is original and uses photography that far outdates Mr. Fitzpatrick's own composition.
The true purpose of "The Shirt" is to raise money for Student Activities and a unique Notre Dame charity. It is the largest student fundraiser on campus raising over $200,000 annually. Half of this money goes to Student Activities to help fund such events as SYRs, concerts, speakers, etc. The other half goes to a charity fund to help Notre Dame students, faculty and administration who have experienced catastrophes. For example, in the past the charity has helped very sick students who could not afford the medical attention they required. This year, part of the shirt's profits will be distributed to rectors to help students who may be in need.
Basically, what it boils down to is that "The Shirt" is a great tradition at Notre Dame. It will be awesome to see everyone wearing green at the game. Don't be swayed by yesterday's article. Go out and purchase "The Shirt!" Support Notre Dame, support your fellow students, support the football team, and support the most important charity on campus. I hope to see you all out at the game Saturday, donning "The Shirt."
August 31, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Friday, September 1, 2000