Just one day after thousands of students lined up for hours in the hot sun for $10 Disneyland tickets, Associated Students Inc. broke the news that it would not be selling any additional tickets.
“Our goal was to offer tickets to as many students as normally attend the Big Event concert, which in the last few years has been around 1,300 students,” the organization put on its account. “ASI was simply not as prepared as we should have been for the demand from thousands of interested students, and we take full responsibility for that. While additional tickets cannot be offered, we heard your concerns.”
The apology comes after many students expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of tickets reserved for the first ever Long Beach State ASI Disney Day — 1,000 for the population of almost 40,000. While the organization apologized, it also announced it would not be purchasing more tickets for this year’s event.
The problem started Monday when a large crowd formed in the University Student Union Info & Ticket Center three hours before the official line was scheduled to start. At its longest, the line reached Prospector Pete’s statue, near the Liberal Arts buildings.
“ASI had reviewed social media interactions (likes, comments, shares) and projected a few hundred students in line throughout the process of distributing tickets,” James Ahumada, ASI senior communications manager, said in an email. “That projection was clearly exceeded and made managing the line more difficult.”
The day at Disneyland was meant to replace the annual Big Event concert, an event that is supplemented by student fees, which are rolled into tuition. Many disappointed students mentioned these fees as part of the reason why they felt cheated for not receiving a ticket.
Seriously so disorganized. A roughly 38k student population where EVERYONE pays the tuition AND the near $200 ASI fee and only 1k students actually get something from ASI am give me back my $200 bc that is going towards someone else’s ticket😡what kind of student body is this
— Savannah ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ (@SomeVietGirl) May 7, 2018
The $173 student excellence fee in question goes toward the annual Big Event as well as scholarships, student employees and other major events on and off-campus, ASI explained in their post.
ASI was forced to enclose students with caution tape a half hour before the line was meant to begin to regulate swaths of students and to prevent cutting in line. Campus police stood by in case push came to shove. Despite efforts by the organization, several students ducked under the tape, enciting frustration from ASI coordinators, who shouted orders through megaphones. The hoard closest to the entrance was instructed not to push forward, but this happened anyway as students rushed toward the entrance to the USU.
Around 3 p.m., ASI announced on its Twitter that tickets were sold out, forcing over 500 students to disperse. Many took to social media to voice their complaints.
Stephanie Rios, a child development and family life major in her fourth year, camped out at 10 a.m. and left the line to take out cash of an ATM. When she came back, the tape had been put up and she was unable to reenter the line.
“I came back and [ASI] is not letting me in,” Rios said. “I was in the front and now I can’t even get in.”
Leaders of ASI explained they were unable to book a musical artist for this year but they felt compelled to give students a celebration. Many students who were initially eager to take advantage of the event were unsatisfied after waiting in line for hours and leaving empty-handed.
In the hours following the sales, students began re-selling their tickets at a higher cost via Reddit, ranging from $80 to over $100.
This story was updated May 8 at 9:53 p.m.