Some graduating Ohio State students are finally satisfied with the commencement ticket allocation after more tickets were made available.
In February, the announcement that President Barack Obama would be the commencement speaker came with news that graduating students would be permitted four tickets for friends and family to attend the Sunday ceremony at Ohio Stadium.
Many graduates were unhappy, saying that four was not enough.
The number of tickets per student was later expanded to six and finally to seven, with a window later opening on April 24 that allowed students to order up to seven more tickets and bringing the total possible number of tickets to 14.
There will be about 10,100 graduates this semester, said Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for OSU Student Life.
OSU President E. Gordon Gee addressed the ticket issue during a March 25 interview with The Lantern, saying that the ticket limit was imposed not only due to the high-profile commencement speaker, but also because the venue is being renovated.
“No one goes to anything, a public setting with the president of the United States, without having tickets. It’s just what the Secret Service demands,” Gee said. “The other thing is the fact that our stadium is undergoing some renovation, though we don’t have all the seats available that we normally would, so that’s another reason for that limitation.”
Amy Murray, OSU spokeswoman, said the construction schedule was adjusted to allow more seating at graduation.
“The decision by the Department of Athletics to reschedule some stadium maintenance work, and our ongoing assessment to determine how we could accommodate more people in Ohio Stadium has enabled us to increase the allotment of tickets,” Murray said in an email.
Alex Schaefer, a fourth-year in psychology who is graduating Sunday, said when she first heard that each student would receive four tickets, she was upset.
“I have three siblings and two parents that I wanted to bring,” Schaefer said.
When the ticket limit was expanded to seven, Schaefer said she was satisfied.
“I was really excited because it was perfect,” Schaefer said.
Murray said that most feedback to the expanded ticket limit has been positive.
“We understand that students have been pleased with the online ticket ordering system and the allotment of seven tickets each,” Murray said.
But while some students would have been satisfied with seven graduation tickets, problems ensued when a significant number of graduates failed to place their order for tickets online while the ordering window was open.
“Several hundred students (reported) they missed the first ticket ordering opportunity,” Murray said.
Schaefer said that she was one of the students who forgot to order tickets.
“I felt like an idiot because it was a simple task, but I also thought that the time window was too short for students to reasonably be expected to get their tickets,” Schaefer said. “It was over the weekend, which isn’t conducive to business.”
Murray said that the ticket-ordering window re-opened on April 24 and it would remain open until 5 p.m. on Friday or until the ticket supply was exhausted.
An email to Murray Thursday evening asking if the ticket supply had run out was not immediately responded to.
Schaefer said that she was grateful for the opportunity to order tickets again.
“I was really excited because I got a second chance,” Schaefer said.