San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Elite Security abuses power in ticket line

Jesus McMurphy Christ. I didn’t know a failure could be as epic as the BYU ticket release and subsequent campout.

First of all, thank you to the Athletic Department for moving the ticket release from Monday to Friday. At least my skipping half a week’s worth of classes was justified. I also want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for ensuring that no one was informed of any details or developments about the ticket distribution situation.
How many tickets are still available? Two separate calls to the ticket office received the same response: close to 2,500. Students felt great about their chances.
What is being done to prevent people from cutting in line? What about letting the people farther back know the possibility that they will not get their hands on any tickets at all?

A representative of the SDSU Police Department said that they were taking a hands-off approach because students are great at policing themselves, and to not worry, because everything possible would be done to make sure no one was camping out in vain.

Although the campus had essentially assured that the line would fall into chaos by bringing out a flimsy security team, Elite Security, to police almost the entire event. The campout had been going smoothly for some time, until 4 a.m.

Suddenly, without warning, the gates to the Viejas Arena walkway closed. The campout line was entirely secured. People who had stepped away to use the restroom were being told they couldn’t get back in line.

While may people were asleep by this point, for those of us still awake, the environment turned from a fun, friendly atmosphere into a prison lockdown. We weren’t seen as responsible adult students. We were treated nearly the same as a herd of cattle.

It seems a decision was made to close down the line in an effort to prevent phantom students from jumping in line at the last minute. So much for that hands-off approach. Clearly, students couldn’t be trusted to police themselves.

I don’t understand. Was there intelligence suggesting a large group of fringe students were plotting a line-cutting attack that could bring Aztec pride to its knees? Was there any evidence suggesting that this group of extremists was poised to flood the line with a plan of mass connivery?

I was one of the students who initially couldn’t get back into Viejas Arena because I was in the restroom when they closed the gates.

The first security guard was a nice guy. When he told me I couldn’t get back in and I began to plead my case, he asked that I not kill the messenger. He did tell me the security guard just inside the gate was “in charge.” I approached the gate, said “excuse me,” and this Santa Claus look-alike on a $9 per-hour power trip looked at me, recognized I was a student, scoffed and ignored me.

As I was taking a deep breath to begin my retort, a Viejas Arena employee by the name of Tim Ripley approached and told the guard to open the gate. The guard opened it ever so slightly, let one student through and forcefully pulled it closed. When I firmly told this geriatric to calm down, Ripley grabbed me by my collar, pulled me aside, explained what a favor he was doing for me, and told me to get back inside.

What the f—-? Being in charge of managing the situation does not put you in charge of the students. How could anyone fathom it would be acceptable to put their hands on me or any other student? I was not violent. I was not physically intimidating anyone. I was speaking my mind. No one has the right to forcefully subdue my free speech.

Fast forward one hour before ticket distribution begins, when I asked another Viejas Arena employee if vending machines are accessible in the area, which I was told were not. Then I asked how I might come upon some water because there were no fountains and I was thirsty. I was told if I were to leave that area, I wouldn’t come back.

Now you are risking the health and well-being of the students. For what? To keep the phantom line-cutters out? We had all been spending the last day and a half together. We know who is supposed to be there and who is not. Thanks for your concern, but this is not what a campout is about.

At the end of it all, a big thanks goes out to the SDSU Police Department representative for allowing more than half of the students – fans who had spent days and nights camping out – to never get their hands on a pair of tickets.

However, there is some worthy praise to be given. To the Associated Students employee who did all he could to help the students who had been locked out of the line get back in, thank you.

And huge thanks to my fellow campers. It was an awesome display of Aztec pride. It’s a shame so many of us weren’t able to bring that energy to the court on Saturday.
At least we could still poke Jimmer Fredette’s girlfriend.

— Joe Stewart is a journalism senior.

— The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Elite Security abuses power in ticket line