The Student Association Senate voted to amend its Ticketing and Merchandise Sales Policy during its meeting Friday, loosening restrictions for non-undergraduate ticket sales to club events. The amendment allows clubs to sell as many non-undergraduate tickets as they want so long as they do “not exceed the number of undergraduate tickets available for sale,” and removes restrictions on subsidizing non-undergraduate tickets with club budgets and limits. The measure passed by a vote of 8-2-1.
The SA’s previous ticketing policy, which was unanimously passed in March as a part of a policy package, barred clubs from subsidizing non-student tickets with their club budget and capped the number of tickets they could sell to non-undergraduate students at 10% of total tickets available for sale.
The SA e-board presented the amendments to the SA Senate on Friday. The amendments enjoyed broad support, but some senators argued that the policy was too loose. At times invoking ticketing issues surrounding Allen West’s on-campus speech last semester, they argued that clubs could sell similar amounts of student and non-student tickets for similar prices. This would in theory create competition between undergraduate and non-undergraduate students for events funded by undergraduates’ mandatory student activity fee.
“Yes, there’s a chance that they [clubs] might mess up,” SA President Becky Paul-Odionhin said to the Senate about the possibility of clubs taking advantage of loopholes. “But when they do mess up, we’ll say, ‘Oh, here’s how we can do better’ — but we’re not going to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to lock you in a cage,’ because how are they going to grow?… I don’t think we should strive to put [students] in cages.”
Paul-Odionhin declined a request for further comment.
Yaide Valdez, LASA Vice President and a junior political science and law major, described the new policy as a “positive start we are delighted to put into effect.”
“I am proud of my organization for shedding light on this issue that could have affected other organizations if it did not change,” Valdez said. “I am thankful for those organizations and school community members who supported us throughout this process.”
The results of a poll by SA to the general student body about the policy showed that 59.3% of respondents wanted to change the policy, while 40.7% wanted it to stay the same.
SA came under fire for its ticketing policy in early October when the Latin American Student Association learned a week and a half before their Annual Heritage Banquet that they would have to raise ticket prices and limit non-student tickets. The club, frustrated with these changes and SA’s unclear communication, organized a demonstration on Oct. 7, leading protesting students outside the SA office.
LASA decided two days before the banquet to make tickets free rather than make LASA alumni and family members of current students, some of whom had already traveled to Buffalo for the event, pay $60 for a ticket.
Jasmin Yeung is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org