Many parents deny their children sugary cereals on a daily basis. Perhaps for this reason, the wide variety of cereal available in the dining halls has long been popular among the students, who are no longer under their parents’ watchful eyes. In February 1983, a couple dozen students protested the lack of Cap’n Crunch, the sugary cereal of choice, during dinner at South Dining Hall. This spurred Lee Brossard and his sophomore class running mate to make a campaign promise to hold a Cap’n Crunch party if elected.
The sophomore class officers initially contacted Quaker Oats for just a few boxes of cereal for their party; however, Quaker Oats was intrigued by the idea. After some back and forth between Quaker Oats and the Notre Dame Administration, a week-long Cap’n Crunch festival was scheduled, which included a visit by the Cap’n himself, treasure hunts, and cereal eating contests.
This was one of the first major corporate-sponsored events at Notre Dame. Notre Dame is often approached by corporations to hold such events and the administration often denies such attempts. Crunch Fest became a reality because the students were so enthusiastic about the idea. This particular event itself was reigned in a bit as Fr. John Van Wolvlear, President of Student Affairs, eliminated Quaker Oats’ original idea to have the Cap’n bid the students farewell from a boat-shaped float in the Stadium during the USC game. No events were scheduled for that Saturday home football game day, nor was the Stadium a venue for any part of Crunch Fest.
In the spring of 1972, Robert (Bob) Calhoun Kersten ran one of more memorable Student Body Presidential campaigns from his office in the fourth floor bathroom of Walsh Hall.
Kersten’s candidacy was intended satire of student government and he ran under an oligarchy platform. Despite University violations, Kersten’s running mate was Uncandidate the Cat, the “first female Notre Dame poobah” [Observer, 03/03/1972].
Kersten won the election by the largest margin to date, although he hadn’t planned much for his actual presidency. Student Body Vice President Uncandidate the Cat was replaced by Ed Gray, who was replaced by Dennis Etienne (H-Man) in October 1972. Kersten’s presidency was relatively uneventful as Etienne ran much of the day-to-day activities. Etienne won the following year’s SBP election.