Some Ohio State University seniors are unhappy that tickets to their May 5 graduation are being limited.
“I think it’s really cool the president is coming,” student Matthew Lahman said. “But at the same time with a limitation of tickets you have a problem of which family members can come. If you have aunt and uncles in your life who are very important they might not be able to come. It’s a negative effect of it.”
For the first time in campus history, OSU is limiting the number of tickets students can receive for the ceremony, which will feature keynote speaker Pres. Barack Obama.
Originally, students were offered only four tickets to graduation. Tuesday afternoon, administrators increased that number to six.
“It’s crazy. I think we should be able to have whoever we want to come to graduation,” said Melissa Garron. “I think since the President is going to be here, people want to see him and not the ceremony,” Garron said.
Senior Jared Kamrass says the administration has heard complaints from students and family members.
“A lot of graduating seniors had made plans, hotel reservations and plane tickets maybe a year in advance,” Kamrass said. “So for some people it’s tough now.”
Ohio State is expecting its largest graduating class ever – 12,000 students.
As a consequence of the limit, some commencement tickets are now selling online from upwards of $100 each.
“As a college student who is graduating, I really can’t afford that,” said Chelsea Johnson. “I think it’s insane. I’m not a person who will be selling any of mine, and I’d really prefer not to purchase any.”
“I’m angry,” Garron said. “I’ve asked if there has ever been a limit on how many can come to a graduation ceremony and found out that there’s never been a limit. I think everybody is having issues with this.”
“I mean, you pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to school here for at least four years to get a degree and to think you have to go out there and pay more money just to have people see that you graduated?” said Lahman. “That’s terrible.”
In a statement to 10TV News, OSU officials acknowledged they are aware of commencement tickets being sold.
“The university does not condone such activity. We are listening to our students and their families, working quickly to identify ways to accommodate as many of our graduates' guests as possible. We are hopeful changes to our stadium renovation plans and other adjustments will help to address concerns regarding ticket availability. Our priority is to our graduates and their families on this special day.”
Kamrass says OSU officials are trying to navigate through the issue the best they can.
“We’re fortunate enough that the president is going to come address us as a graduating class from Ohio State,” Kamrass said. “It’s an honor that we should be able to share with as many people as we can.”
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