March 10, 2011

Ticket Distribution for Saturday Chiddy Bang Concert Causes Confusion

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Confusion ensued among students Wednesday over when, where and how to obtain tickets for Saturday’s Chiddy Bang concert.

Students criticized the West Campus Program Council for poor planning and management.

Originally, WCPC planned to distribute tickets for the show Wednesday at noon in Willard Straight Hall.

But, on Wednesday, tickets were distributed to students 20 minutes before the previously-announced distribution time due to concerns about the occupancy of the Straight, where over 100 students were lined up at 11:30, according to Sheela George ’13, president of the West Campus Program Council.

After students went through the line and took two tickets, many went back in and took more, Chris Frink ’11 said.

By 11:45 a.m. — 15 minutes before the tickets were supposed to be distributed — there were no more available, she said.

Adding to the confusion, a hyperlink circulated Tuesday, purportedly allowing students to type in their names and NetIds and displaying a copy of a ticket that looked legitimate, Frink said. The online website, however, was not affiliated with the WCPC, George said.

The free concert is funded by the Student Activity Fee and comes at an approximate costs $20,000, according to George. With 500 tickets distributed, the event costs $40 per attendee, according to a report from the Student Assembly appropriations committee released Thursday.

“WCPC should have coordinated with other campus organizations to increase the size of the event so more students could attend since $40 per student for this concert is an extremely high funding cost per attendee,” the report said.

The event will be held at Noyes Gym, which has a capacity of 500 people. 1,298 students said they would attend the concert on its Facebook page as of Thursday night.

“I thought it was poorly planned, poorly communicated — it was ridiculous,” said Derek Creadore ’12, who said he attempted to buy tickets to the event on three separate occasions.

Creadore’s first two attempts to find tickets to the show proved fruitless, and by the time he went to the officially announced ticket distribution on Wednesday at noon, he found the halls of the Straight empty and the tickets gone.

Creadore was not the only student confused by ticket distribution for the concert.

Frink said he arrived at the Straight at 11:15 a.m. The students in line had received tickets by 11:40 a.m., and the person checking student IDs and giving out tickets behind the counter was not paying attention, he said, leading students to take more than the two tickets they were allowed.

“Everyone had gone through the line and everyone was mulling about, saying, ‘what do we do?’ Clearly this guy has a stack of tickets left and they aren’t checking anything, and so I saw people going through the line twice,” Frink said.Chris Mejia ’11 said he also attempted and failed to obtain a ticket at noon Wednesday at the Straight. Mejia said that the small venue on West Campus restricted the ability of the Cornell Community to attend.

“They should have never gotten student activity funding if it’s not entirely open to the Cornell community,” Mejia said.

George said the website link and electronic ticket distribution were set up by a student not affiliated by the board.

“[This student] wanted to sell tickets via the website,” she said. “We told him that we were not interested. We told him that we were selling tickets at the Straight. After the link went out, we asked him to remove it, but the damage was already done.”

The WCPC continued with its plan to distribute the tickets Wednesday at the Straight, but George said that she understood the frustration of students.

“I completely empathize with everyone,” George said. “I completely understand everyone’s frustration. The purpose of our organization is to plan events that help promote unity for West Campus. The only place available was Noyes Community Center, which holds 500. We had over 1,200 that were trying to get tickets. It was a problem with supply and demand.”

According to Student Assembly Representative Adam Nicoletti ’12, vice president of finance, the West Campus Programming Council had recently undergone a shift in leadership and become more student-run. Despite the “inefficiency” of the current event, Nicoletti said the S.A. was committed to working with the organization to improve.

“I want to stress that the S.A. is committed to supporting this group, making sure that they’re spending money efficiently,” he said. “They’re trying to appeal to a lot more students, and that’s commendable, but its not being done in the most efficient way possible.”

Original Author: Juan Forrer