There were hundreds. They shuffled around the first floor of Wilson Commons, starting from the Common Market, snaking through the Ruth Merrill Center and back to Rocky’s Sub Shop. The students waited for hours, inching along as the line moved forward. Their reward: a chance to score tickets to see millenials’ favorite “science guy,” Bill Nye.
In the days since, students have decried the system used to sell tickets as unfair, both in terms of timing and in the way tickets are sold.
Those who had class at the time felt shortchanged. Others—turned off by the lines—rushed to class after they were confronted with the unfortunate reality that they would be unable to purchase a ticket.
Although we appreciate efforts to make the event more accessible through the Simulcasting of the event, the outcome of this ticket fiasco was frenzied. The bloated crowd clogging the Commons and the disappointment of those who were either unable to skip class or too far back in the line to buy a ticket before they sold out were symptomatic of larger inefficiencies.
We encourage Wilson Commons administration to consider and experiment with other options for selling tickets. Increased online sales would relieve some of the bloat during sale times.
Alternative sale schedules—during evening hours, for instance, when more students are likely to be free of academic obligations—would open up sales to more students. Additionally, we suggest that more surveys and polls be conducted to allow for improved sales predictions and accomodating sales times.
Our suggestions are straightforward and easy to implement. Wilson Commons administration has acknowledged that last week’s problems arose because student interest in the event had been estimated improperly, and we thank them for candidly recognizing this.
These practices would ease the stress on students buying tickets and ease the strains on staff selling tickets. We suggest that changes be made soon in anticipation of future events—Wilson Commons doesn’t need more clogged pipes.