About 30 students without tickets to the Miami game met last night in Torgerson Hall for answers from the Office of Student Life and Advocacy about why the Miami ticket sales were so chaotic.
?We go to class here, we?re Hokies and if we don?t get our demands satisfied, that?s ridiculous,? said Sumeet Bagai, Speaker of the House for the Student Government Association and a sophomore business management major.
Tom Brown, interim director of the Office of Student Life and Advocacy, said a group of students, athletics and university office members met two years ago to discuss the most efficient way to distribute student tickets. Up to that point, there was no system and students camping out got out of hand, he said.
?It could be a good time if it was organized and orderly, but this was not,? he said. ?This was a mess. The rules were made up and they were changed.?
After witnessing the chaos of this system, the group decided a lottery system would be most effective.
?It went really well last year,? he said. ?This season, things went really well, but come Miami, we couldn?t accommodate everyone. We ran out of supplies and couldn?t even put wristbands on all the students by 8:15 (a.m.).?
Approximately 17,000 tickets are reserved for students at each game, Brown said. For the Miami game, there were 17,721. Of those tickets, 5,486 were student season tickets and 1,500 were for guests. That left 10,735 tickets for the 15,933 students who have athletic cards.
?The students have the impression they pay the fee and they have a ticket, but it?s spelled out in the guidebook that it?s not a guarantee,? Brown said.
For an hour, the students at the forum discussed solutions to the problem and ask-ed questions about why the system is not changed to something more promising.
?I think they should distribute the allotment of student tickets first,? said Anthony Crenshaw, a second year graduate student in higher education and student affairs. ?It?s important to reiterate the commitment to students who pay their athletic fee.?
Other audience members said the guest tickets should not be subtracted from the number of student tickets while still others suggested making scalping illegal to reduce the buying and then reselling of guest and student tickets.
?Our athletic department is the best or second best in the state,? said Allen Bradley, an SGA representative and a senior industrial systems engineering major. ?We should have a voice strong enough for people to listen.?
Brown said he thought season tickets were the best solution overall.
However, Ashley Jenks, a transfer student and a sophomore merchandising management major, said she was denied the purchase of season tickets because transfer students and freshmen are not given that option.
?I was going to order tickets and they wouldn?t let me,? she said. ?If it comes down to it, guests can scalp tickets where we shouldn?t have to.?
Brown said selling guest tickets after selling student tickets is an option that will be considered when another group convenes to discuss the problems in the spring. However, he said there is a possibility the athletics department may consider converting to an e-lottery system.
?I think the athletics department running an e-lottery is a great idea,? he said. ?At a place like Virginia Tech, surely there is someone who will know how to do that.?
Though both the SGA and the Office of Student Life and Advocacy extended an invitation to the athletics department to attend the forum, no one from the department came.
Following the forum, the SGA said anyone with questions for the athletics department could e-mail them and they would contact the athletics department for a response.