Graduation ticket sales: a question of morals


Joseph Ciolino, Opinion Editor

by Hannah Willis, Staff Columnist

Imagine the day has finally arrived where you will be walking across the platform dawned in a cap and gown and finally graduating from college.

Now, imagine you have seven friends and family members that would like to attend the commencement ceremony, but you are only allotted five tickets.

What do you do?

Well, the good news is you’ll most likely be able to get some extra tickets. The bad news is it’ll probably come at a price.

According to the San Diego State University’s Commencement website, students are allotted a certain amount of graduation tickets based on their specific college. With the College of Engineering receiving up to 12 tickets and the college of Arts and Letters receiving a mere five tickets.

With the limited amount of tickets available, students are forced to choose who they can and can’t invite to the commencement ceremony which can become fairly stressful and upsetting.

In an effort to make a profit, students have been posting on SDSU’s “Class of 2016” Facebook page and advertising their willingness to sell extra graduation tickets.

Some people might consider this a win-win situation, benefiting both the seller and buyer. However, other students have voiced their opinion about the unfair nature of selling something that was free to begin with.

“(I don’t) like the idea of people selling their extra tickets, especially because they are free,” Sydney Woolf, business senior said.

However, she understands, as a business student, the need to “make an extra buck here and there”.

“I don’t see any ethical issues with it if the costs are reasonable like under $15 (each),” she said. “Honestly, I wish they gave more tickets. Graduation is a big deal, especially for me being a first-generation graduate. I think it would be cool to distribute them on a needs basis.”

“Everyone send in how many tickets they need and see if it can be accommodated, within reason,” she said.

The unfair distribution of tickets combined with the limited occupancy of commencement venue, Viejas Arena, creates a competitive market by having a “high demand” and “low supply” situation.

This has resorted to students selling their unnecessary or extra tickets to others via Facebook or Craigslist.

Ultimately, the university administration should reevaluate the ticket allotment per student and determine whether the system in place is just and fair. In doing so, I’m sure they will realize changes need to be made.