Campers without a cause
Updated software randomizes ticket pulling process, surprises students
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 02:09
As the A&M football season approaches its season opener at Kyle Field, students received an email from University officials Saturday afternoon that said there was a change in the ticket pulling process.
The change will take affect Monday, the first day seniors can pull tickets for the A&M-Florida matchup. The new process randomizes how tickets are allocated to students, eliminating the ability to pull early to reserve better seating.
Since as early as Friday night, students have set up tents and TVs on The Zone to camp out until ticket windows open Monday morning. Many of these students were unaware of the altered ticket pulling system or that an email was sent.
“We actually read [the email] after we got here and were already set up,” said Josh Hooton, sophomore mechanical engineering major. “At that point we were like, ‘Eh, oh well.’”
The email described the new ticket pulling rules, changes to seating due to SEC bylaws and how tickets will be distributed. The email ended with a paragraph saying that camping was not necessary.
“For me, I don’t ever camp out, so it’s good for me,” said senior industrial engineering major Johnny Khai. “But the hardcore campers are out here Friday nights.”
In summary the email said tickets will be distributed starting with the best sections — four sections at a time — randomly to students assigned to that classification day. Seniors will still have the first chance at the best seats, but seats among those sections will be distributed at random. The particular time of day at which those tickets are pulled doesn’t matter.
“I’m not a huge fan of [the system],” said senior psychology major Lydia Boyles. “I like the reward of getting here early and being able to be rewarded with a good seat.”
The fully randomized system has been implemented by the University in the past. The ticket pull system was originally designed to create an equal opportunity for everyone to get good seats. As software changed several years ago, randomization was no longer an option, and it had to be done manually. The manual method of randomization was flawed and gave students the impression that better tickets could be pulled earlier in the day, which defeated the purpose of a randomized draw.
“We want to change the system back to the way it was,” senior finance major Garrett Rowe said. “In the email it said it’s to make it more fair, but I feel like, for people that are up here, it’s not fair to them.”
Even with the email accessible for the students to read, most students camping in front of The Zone didn’t let the news dampen their spirit for having the opportunity to camp out.
“I think it’s awesome that everybody is out here camping just promoting that camaraderie, getting exited for the first Florida game,” senior yell leader Nelson Ingram said. “It’s really neat to see Aggies bonding together even if they necessarily don’t have to. They are coming together to hang out because they get to.”