Monday’s list titled “The Worst People on Campus,” that ran on this opinion page has garnered a tremendous amount of buzz, not only on this campus but across the nation.
Feedback has been divided between support and derision for the choice to run this article naming students who immediately posted their coveted Rose Bowl tickets online to turn a profit.
It should be said the original article was written and published by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Bargnes. He did not consult the rest of this board before doing so.
We retrospectively stand by the main points made in the article however.
While we may debate the appropriateness of running the list of names, that act generated an enormous amount of attention for an issue people obviously care passionately about.
It is not fair for students who were counting on a cheap ticket to get to Pasadena to be cheated out of it by their profit-driven classmates. We hope they recognize the community outrage caused by their actions and immediately desist from profiting at the expense of their peers, school and team.
What we don’t encourage is harassment of these individuals. Several of the students named in the opinion piece Monday were contacted by people they didn’t know who felt like giving them a hard time – at least one even received a death threat.
We regret the pain this has caused. While we maintain that it’s wrong for students to scalp their tickets for a profit, the fact that this ridicule reached such extreme levels is unfortunate.
Looking forward, we believe it is time to refocus the discussion. There is a second culprit in this ordeal that cannot be overlooked. One who is, in many ways, far more worthy of passionate derision than the students listed in the original article.
The perpetrating students are enabled by extremely poor policy on the part of the Athletic Department.
The current practice of distributing tickets on campus and essentially allowing a lottery system to determine who is lucky enough to get them not only enables the deplorable practice of hawking them for a profit, but also implicitly encourages it.
The last time the Badgers played in the Rose Bowl, students had to pick up the tickets in Pasadena. When Auburn plays Oregon for the BCS National Championship next month, students at that university won’t be able to pick up their tickets until they get to Glendale, Ariz., for the game.
While this may not be a perfect system, it would undoubtedly solve the present problem that has incited the level of outrage surrounding the initial post.
We ask that the UW Athletic Department move distribution of the tickets to Pasadena, on Dec. 30, Dec. 31, and the day of the game, Jan. 1. You can offer students who won’t be going out there – the scalpers – the opportunity to refund their tickets, then resell the returned tickets back to the UW student body.
By allowing students the opportunity to succumb to the obvious financial incentives of scalping, the Athletic Department is in a sense hurting itself the most. In addition to fostering resentment toward the department itself, potentially diluting the already small student section with less passionate fans that are able to afford exorbitant prices hurts the team and their chances for success.
We hope the Athletic Department recognizes the outrage this controversy has made apparent and takes the simple action to right the injustice they enable. We further encourage those taking advantage of the Athletic Department’s failings to rethink the true meaning of their actions and resist the temptation to profit at the expense of their fellow Badgers.