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Despite Ohio State graduation ticket increase, worries still linger

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

After backlash from some Spring Semester graduates at the thought of having only four loved ones attend Spring Commencement, the university upped the allotment to six tickets per graduate. But a week later, some students are realizing that still isn’t enough.
Much of the ticket limit controversy emerged after news broke that President Barack Obama would be giving the commencement speech. The ceremony is scheduled to take place May 5 at Ohio Stadium, which is currently undergoing renovations – another contributing factor to the limit, university officials have said.
The Feb. 26 change to six tickets from four has helped, but students continue to make posts on Facebook, visit Craigslist and make online petitions in hopes of making sure their families and friends are at the ceremony.
Tara Benninger, a fourth-year in psychology, said she is hopeful that the change will make the process of finding tickets she can get from other students easier.
“I really hope people will recognize we now have six tickets and think, ‘I only have two people coming so I should probably make an effort to give these four away,'” Benninger said. She said she could use four more tickets since her family, from Maryland and Chicago, has already purchased flights to Columbus to watch her graduate.
Benninger said she is hoping she can find a friend that would be willing to give them to her, but is willing to pay other students for tickets if that’s what it comes down to.
“I think my parents would pay anything – at least $100 a ticket since my family has already booked their flights,” Benninger said. “I saw a post on Facebook for $250 … that’s ridiculous but students seem to have no problem charging other students to make a profit.”
Kilee Hards, a fourth-year in human development and family science, is another student hoping to purchase tickets but has not heard or seen any concrete asking price.
“I’m very interested to know what people were pricing them,” Hards said. “I have no idea, maybe Ohio State will be able to fix the problem.”
Even though there is confusion, Hards said she continues to be optimistic while in the midst of searching for more tickets.
“I think Ohio State is being very helpful and I don’t think finding the extra ticket or two will be that much (of) a problem, it should all work out. I’ve never heard of anyone having trouble in the past with getting everyone into graduation.” Hards said.
Despite the past success of students’ getting everyone into the graduation ceremony, this situation does not have a precedent for many graduates.
Benninger said she was shocked to see the university assign two more tickets to each student.
“I would be satisfied with eight, but I think the ideal number is 10 for every student,” Benninger said.
Emily Schleder, a fourth-year in middle childhood education, said she thinks it’s more likely she will be able to find tickets with the increased number available because of less demand and more students willing to sell them.
OSU is creating a website where graduates can request up to six tickets. This is being implemented to better understand the demand for tickets and properly accommodate the graduates and their families, according to a university release.
Only eligible graduates will be able to access the website, and the graduates must indicate how many tickets they require. The university also asks that graduates who are not planning to attend the commencement ceremony indicate that online, so more tickets can become available to students who desire more than six tickets.
Schleder said she just wants to make sure her family can see her on her graduation day.
“This whole situation has made things uncomfortable. It feels as though I’m unimportant and this graduation is about the president,” Schleder said. “I would rather have all my family there than have the president speak at my graduation.”

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