University to begin new system for allowing students into games

Ticket distribution for the homecoming football game began Tuesday. For the past two home games, students have been able to enter into the games by merely showing their Rattler cards.

But now there are two new procedures that will be implemented for this year’s homecoming game and the remaining home game.

Students can still bring their Rattler cards with them to the stadium today and Thursday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to retrieve game tickets.

“Students had been able to enter with their Rattler card for the first two games, and we did some spot checks on random students,” said Clayton Smith, assistant athletic director for development and event management.

“Now the students are supposed to bring their Rattler cards to the stadium and come to windows 13-16, depending on your last name, to pick them up,” Smith said. “We will have a list of all the current students that has been provided for by the registrar’s office.”

Ashtian Turner, 20, a third-year physical therapy student from Orlando, said she wished the procedure for getting homecoming tickets was the same as the system the Office of Student Union and Activities had for getting homecoming event tickets.

“It just seems a little more convenient,” Turner said. “But since the stadium is better for long lines, I’ll just have to take the walk.”

Although there is not an exact limit in terms of the number of tickets being allocated for the homecoming game, Smith has estimated that they will issue about 6,000 tickets throughout the designated days.

In addition to the system being used for administering homecoming tickets, another new process will be put into practice. A newly installed scanner that has been put in the stadium and the gymnasium will read rattler cards and determine whether students are currently enrolled.

Smith said the athletic department decided to use scanners during the summer and was first able to get the equipment installed the week of the South Carolina State University game.

The purpose of these scanners is to prohibit students who are not currently enrolled at Florida A&M University from getting into games using Rattler cards.

And by using the new system, Smith said, there should not be overcrowding in the stadium Saturday.

“For the first two (games), there were no problems; students didn’t fill up a lot inside,” Smith said. “But we can’t over fill the stadium, especially during homecoming.”

The new card-reading system is set to begin at the last home game of the season.

“Starting with the Hampton game, students will go through Gate 13, and the card readers will be able to ascertain whether they are current (students),” Smith said. “If they are not, then they will be rejected and have to buy a ticket.”

A separate electronic scanner will also be used to spot counterfeit tickets bought from unauthorized locations and dealers.

“People can duplicate tickets but not the barcode,” Smith said. “Now we’ll be able to catch duplicate tickets that someone has reproduced.”

Some FAMU students who are aware of the new scanners had some positive feedback in terms of the new additions.

“I think the ticket system is a smart idea with so many people coming for the homecoming game and so are the scanners,” said Quentin Jenkins, a freshman business administration student from Fort Lauderdale. “Now someone who isn’t a current student won’t be able to get in and cheat the system.”

Despite the positive feedback, Turner still has reservations about the dependability of the equipment.

“It’s a good way to get enrolled students filling up facilities instead of those who are not. The ones who extend capacity levels and take up potential seating for enrolled students,” she said.

“However, machines are unpredictable. But I guess if they have some backup scanners it could be a good thing.”

Jenkins said he does not want to be penalized for the machine’s failure to work.

“It can have its faults, especially if the system malfunctions and creates long lines. If I am a registered student and my card doesn’t scan, I shouldn’t have to pay. It’s not my fault,” Jenkins said.

Tickets for the homecoming game are $35 each. The FAMU athletic ticket office and any Ticket Master outlet are both authorized locations from which to buy tickets.