Several students waited in long lines at the Bragg stadium ticket office to obtain tickets for homecoming events, but because of FAMU’s system of allotting fewer tickets than the number of enrolled students, some students still walked away empty-handed.
8,000 student tickets were available to the student body for the game.
However, many students were unable to obtain tickets because some students collected more than one ticket.
The students were charged with collecting more than the allotted one ticket per student and are now facing disciplinary action.
Officially, there are no more homecoming game tickets available. Some tickets were originally held for students attending the FAMU Law School. If those tickets are not claimed, students who have signed up in the athletic department may access those unclaimed tickets.
E. Newton Jackson, FAMU’s athletic director said: “We always have a challenge at homecoming because everyone wants to go. The athletic department is certainly open to any suggestions of innovative ways to allow students to get tickets for homecoming game.”
Plans are underway to improve the ticket issuance system for next year because of problems with crowds, unruliness, students obtaining more than one ticket and other student complaints regarding the system.
Although the Office of Student Union Activities planned to issue 1,000 tickets per day for three days last week, a frenzied crowd gathered Tuesday, Oct. 13, led officials to make new rules for the issuance of the homecoming game tickets on Monday.
While some students received their tickets easily, others experienced discourteous and unfriendly behavior, such as students skipping in the line and pushing and shoving.
Deanda Ewers, 21, a senior elementary education student from Ramstein, Germany, stood in line Oct. 13.
“Luckily, I was not involved in any of the pushing and other nonsense, but I did have to be so close to the girl standing in front of me that her hair was in my face, because people were trying to skip in line,” Ewers said.
“I went out there around 7:45 am to get my ticket, and people were everywhere,” said Sherika Highman, 22, a senior food science student from St. Augustine.
The University distributed tickets alphabetically, but there were not enough workers present to issue the tickets. Since the ticket office only has a certain number of windows, it was only possible to serve a limited amount of students at a time.
Some students complained because certain lines moved quicker than others.
“The A-E line was the slowest out of all the others. My friend and I, whose last name begins with P, got to the stadium at the same time, but I had to wait 20 minutes longer to get my ticket than she did,” Ewers said.
Officials in the office of student activities disagree.
“It had nothing to do with the way the lines were set up. The alphabet was split into equal stacks, and issued to each worker. The problem was that more people with the same first letters of their last names came at the same time,” said Saundra Inge, associate director of OSUA.
In addition to the long lines, some students were denied tickets because of indebtedness to the University.
“The list of students who could receive tickets was printed out late Monday (Oct. 10) evening to ensure that every student who was eligible could get their ticket,” Inge said.
The sea of students and lack of security Oct. 13 prompted student activities officials to close ticket distribution before issuing more tickets that day.
Ticket distribution reconvened the following day with a new set of rules. The new rules included issuing students numbers that ensured them a ticket and once all the numbers were given out, no more tickets would be available.
This new system also weeded out the people who would be unable to get a ticket that day, therefore cutting down the lines and wait time.
Although OSUA designed the new rules to lower the long lines, the University still sold out of tickets for the homecoming game.
The University cannot issue adequate tickets to students for numerous reasons.
While many students argue they have paid their athletic fees and should be guaranteed game tickets, Jackson said, “at most schools only a percentage of students have the opportunity to attend the games, FAMU is no different.”
By law, FAMU has to hold out 200 tickets per event for the community to purchase.
Another reason for a lack of student tickets is that the venues are not large enough to hold all of the student body at one time.
Many OSUA officials believe the system they have in place is working well, but there is always room for improvement.
Ed Benson, a FAMU alumnus, is working to put computerized ticket booths in four to five locations on campus, which will allow students to get their tickets more easily.
Contact Gheni Platenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org