By Cas Turbak
The Student Government Association’s (SGA) new ticket policy was put through its trial run during the Oct. 11 home football game against Gardner-Webb. The system sought to prevent the use of student tickets by non-students through a Buzzcard scanning system, similar to the ticket process already in place at Tech’s home basketball games. Although the system successfully curtailed fraudulent ticket use during the Garner Webb game, the SGA has determined that it will not be possible to continue with the new policy.
Due to the limited number of student tickets available for each football game, the SGA has searched for a way to ensure that these tickets will only be available to athletic fee paying students. “We would like to protect the integrity of these tickets,” said Robert McEntyre, vice president of Campus Affairs for the SGA.
The SGA’s solution was a system of hand held scanners that verified each student’s Buzzcard when they entered the game.
The SGA hoped that this policy would stop student ticket abuse without drastically affecting the students. “By no means do we want to hurt attendance,” said Charlie Shoemaker, athletic chair of the SGA. Tech’s fall break game against Gardner-Webb was chosen to debut the new policy due to the expectation of lower than usual student attendance. “It was a perfect opportunity to test feasibility,” McEntyre said.
During the trial run at the Gardner-Webb game, 2,000 students attended. Five percent of the Buzzcard swipes were invalid, and a number of people had to be turned away because they did not possess a Buzzcard.
“I personally didn’t have any trouble getting in to the game,” said Tucker Moore, second-year ME and MATH major, when asked about his impression of the new system.
Despite results of this small scale test, the SGA will not continue with the policy for the rest of the season. “We were all unanimous. It is not feasible with our current resources,” McEntyre said. “We would not be able to move to a high demand situation.”
Although it will not move forward with this policy, the SGA will continue to review ticket policies until it can find a viable solution. “We are looking for a system that solves some of our problems while maintaining the current traditions,” Shoemaker said.
The SGA plans to examine several alternative policies during the next year with the intent to debut a new system for the beginning of the 2009 season. “We have been very active in talking with the Athletic Association (AA) about our student athletic policies,” McEntyre said.
While the SGA and AA will have the final decision on what ticket policy changes are made, students will also be involved in the decision process.