Last week, I attended the USD versus SDSU volleyball game in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Those who were also there knew it was an exciting game. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was the lack of students at the game. I’ve seen more people at Charcoal Lounge’s Drown.
At the beginning of the 2023-2024 season, USD Athletics announced students would no longer be able to attend athletic events by tapping their student ID. Instead, students must use a link to redeem a free ticket.
Since I’ve been to USD, most of the student attendance for sports has been pretty abysmal.
The university spends a lot of money on athletics. So much so that they have an obligation to encourage students to watch the events. After all, we pay hundreds of dollars every semester towards “General Activity Fees” that go toward paying for student services.
This can’t be a money-saving measure. In fact, setting up a website takes much more time and energy than putting the tap machines at the door.
So why did the school go out of their way to make these changes? It’s almost as if the athletics department wants even less people to attend games.
This policy is also wildly unpopular. I made a poll on Fizz asking; “Which system do you prefer for attending games? Get a ticket or Show Student ID.” With 1,684 responses from USD students, 1,479 (88%) chose showing their student ID.
The new system had its first major stress test this week when football tickets for the SDSU game went on sale Monday morning. 1,700 student tickets sold out in just 45 minutes. There was a virtual waiting room because the website had so much traffic. Maybe you didn’t get a ticket because you had a 10 a.m. class and you weren’t on your phone.
Some of you may think I am overreacting to a seemingly insignificant issue. In my defense, this is about much more than taking the five minutes to get a football game ticket, this is about what we choose to tolerate.
The students, faculty and administration share the responsibility of making this university better. Functionally discouraging students from attending sporting events does not make the university better.
We deserve what we choose to tolerate, good or bad. If we allow ourselves to be conditioned to jumping through ridiculous hula hoops to simply watch a game, then we deserve to jump through them.
If you don’t like the new policy, then let the school know! Change doesn’t fall out of the sky. This is a great opportunity to advocate for an issue, a skill we’ll all need at some point. Maybe, just maybe, the school will listen if enough of us say something.