The Student Center Programs Council (SCPC) and Talks at Tech recently announced that astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson would be visiting Tech to give a talk on April 1. Ticket sales began on the morning of March 12, and tickets were sold out within five hours. However, while several students complained about the limited seating and quick sellout, neither of these issues was the fault of SCPC or Talks at Tech. While the organizations could make improvements to make future talks more accessible, they should be commended for bringing Dr. Tyson to Tech.
Dr. Tyson is a well-known astrophysicist who actively promotes an awareness and appreciation of modern science. Therefore, inviting him to speak at Tech was a great move considering the STEM-focused culture and the knowledge-hungry student body. Moreover, considering Dr. Tyson’s popularity as a speaker, it is impressive that SCPC and Talks at Tech were able to book him as a speaker in the first place.
With all this in mind, it was not surprising that tickets sold out so quickly. Though some students have criticized SCPC and Talks at Tech for the quick sellout, these organizations cannot be blamed because Dr. Tyson himself wished to limit the audience size to stimulate a more intimate discussion. To remedy the situation, SCPC set up a live stream that 235 students could buy tickets for.
In order to improve the execution of similar speaker events and make them available to a wider range of students, SCPC should provide a free live stream to all Tech students, either by making a link viewable online only by Tech students or by preparing a live event on the Tech green similar to their movie events. By widening the potential audience for speaker events like this, SCPC can further promote an academic culture at Tech while involving more students.