In the wake of SCPC and SGA’s “Night at the Fox” event as well as the subsequent backlash from those upset at the website crash, a few questions must be answered about the expectations of student organizations in comparison to those made up of professionals.
Should we really expect less of student organizations simply because they are comprised of students? The answer is complex. First, it needs to be said that no one should be screaming at anyone for what is obviously an unintentional mistake. Since when has shouting at someone ever solved a problem? It is certainly understandable that tensions were running high, as at one point it seemed that some would be unable to get money back for tickets that they would not receive. But nothing bad has ever come from a measured response rather than a rash and emotional one.
With that being said, however, SCPC needs to take lessons from this incident. The fact that backup plans and redundant systems are necessary could not be provided with a greater degree of clarity than it was in this situation. Instead of relying solely on the Techstuff website for selling tickets online, an alternative could have involved a signup on Orgsync. The first 150 people to put their names down would be able to pick up their tickets in person at a particular location, removing the need for a long line. Admittedly there are probably better ideas for contingency plans out there, but of most importance is that they be put in place.
Another possible solution is the implementation of a system similar to one used by the Fox website when selling tickets to shows in high demand. The large mass of people are kept on a “holding” page, and smaller groups of website users are cycled in to a buying page in smaller amounts so as not to overload the servers. This would require a significant amount of work on the back end to set up the code for such a system, but the payoff in the long term would be worthwhile.
Hopefully, both SCPC — and other student organizations as well — will take lessons from this most recent incident. But students also need to realize that responding in a needlessly belligerent and hostile manner is not the answer to any problem, as frustrating as it might be. Professional group, such as Sequoia Retail Systems (hosts of Techstuff), and Tech’s administration must be held accountable for what is in their jurisdiction. Student groups are limited in their resources, and those frustrated by the Phantom incident would be well-advised to direct their frustration towards the true roots of the problem.