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Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)
Thousands of Clemson students and alumni are again taking to the internet to try to create change in the student football ticket system at the university.
A new change.org petition, written as an open letter to The Tiger from a student, is making its way through campus groups.
The petition was written by Alyx Farkas, a second-year student at Clemson. Farkas speaks about her lifelong love of Clemson and her desire to be able to enjoy football games for free alongside her friends.
The petition follows a similar change.org petition written in spring 2016 after the school's Board of Trustees made changes to the student ticketing process.
In the petition, Farkas expresses concerns over the cost of tickets, which she says "can be as expensive as the cost of books for the semester or maybe even a meal plan or housing or tuition."
In 2017, Clemson students are the only students in Division 1 athletics to have access to completely free tickets to football games, according to Joe Galbraith, associate athletic director for Clemson University. Galbraith said 10,500 student tickets are made available in lower deck seats, on the hill and in top deck seats. That's about 13 percent of the 80,000 seat stadium. Those tickets are available based on class status. Seniors take precedence over underclassmen. IPTAY Collegiate Club members also have a better shot at tickets since they have access to an earlier online ticket window ahead of each game.
There are more than 23,000 students enrolled at Clemson University, so 10,500 student tickets means more than 12,000 students will not have free tickets to any given game.
Farkas's petition also addressed the removal of block seating for students, and a ticket system she believes "has become a lottery of whether you belong to IPTAY or not."
When it comes to the removal of block seating, Galbraith said, "The athletic department, ticket office and ITPAY staff does not set the rules for student ticketing. We are the provider and facilitator of the ticket distribution, but those policies are set by the Student Government to maximize the student ticket allotment. Student Government informed the athletic department and ticket office they wanted to do away with block seating this year, and we are fulfilling the request of the students."
As for whether the ticket process has become a lottery, Galbraith said that 3,500 of the 10,500 student tickets are reserved for IPTAY members. IPTAY members who do not receive a ticket through the collegiate club are still eligible to receive tickets during their regular class ticket window as well.
The petition had more than 2,700 on Tuesday morning.
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