Editorial: Easy changes can prevent another UPB ticket selling fiasco

Distinct lines, having extra staff on hand prevents cutting

On Thursday, Sept. 24th, Case Western Reserve University students lined up in the Tinkham Veale University Center, all hoping to purchase a coveted ticket to University Program Board’s (UPB) fall break trip to Montreal.

The line started to form, somewhat officially, from 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. However students gathered in the center at 6 p.m. hoping to be at the front.

The event is—and seems to have always been—in high demand. Tickets sell out quickly, and with good reason; the trip locations feature popular cities, and the deal is cheap enough for student budgets. In past years, UPB actually had to stop selling tickets online because servers were overloaded. Then the lucky students who got tickets were decided purely by chance.

Changing ticket purchases to an in-person event helped with the computer problems, and it also made the process a little more organized. However, whenever you put a large group of excited students together, and ask them to wait in line for an event that doesn’t have enough tickets for everyone … well, aggravated situations can develop.

While many students waited patiently for their fall break tickets, others cut those around them in line. Some students claim that, despite waiting for several hours, they didn’t get tickets due to the line-jumpers.

It got bad. The news article we have on the topic this week outlines that.

No matter what, purchasing fall break tickets should not lead to aggression between students. Student Activities Fee money goes toward subsidizing the Fall Break trip. The current setup is the equivalent of taking students’ money and making them fight over it.

The problem has a simple solution: UPB should, in the future, put up ropes to discourage line cutting, and also place UPB members along the line to ask line-cutters to go to the back of the line. Ropes can prevent students from clumping together and make the line only one or two persons across. Staff can make sure that no one violates the ropes or attempts squeeze their way through line.

These are easy solutions. For example, the TVUC Immersion Area under the wooden staircase, was roped off on Thursday because it was being used as storage for the Blue CWRU event. On Thursday night, ropes protected boxes from students, but not students from each other.

The editorial board has one more thing to say about the situation. Only 100 tickets were offered to the students, but many more were in line. Why is a successful event that is in such high demand also so exclusive? Why can’t more funding be put towards the fall break trip?

The fact that over a 100 students were present before tickets even began to be sold is a testament to UPB’s lack of understanding how popular this trip is on campus.

It’s one of UPB’s great successes, and it’s one of the events that students jump at. We believe UPB has garnered some of the most intense interest in a programmed event at CWRU. And we think that UPB could increase interest by taking the above solutions into account when they review their handling of the fall trip.

The Observer staff suggests the mantra: simple solutions for a simple problem.