Student scalpers are getting a wake-up call

It’s commencement season and we all know what that means: students have been scavenging for extra tickets, trying to give the whole family a chance to see what is undoubtedly a remarkable accomplishment.

These students are given eight tickets each. The school claims that to be the limit, but due to the demand, the school opens a free ticket “sale” for students the week before graduation—which is great. The administration doesn’t really have to hold this event, mainly because CSULB could decide to not give away more tickets and give their guests some breathing room at Commencement.

What isn’t great are students scalping spare tickets. I’m annoyed with people trying to profit off of something that is one, free to begin with, and two, very low in supply when looking at how more and more students graduate each year. There’s more than enough in those soon-to-be abandoned apartments that they can sell instead.

According to Cal State University Long Beach Institutional and Research Assessment Enrollment Trends, the school will be releasing more than 3,000 students into the wild lands of opportunity and adulthood this spring semester. The CLA alone will have three ceremonies for Commencement. They’ll be two hours long each and filled with hundreds of family members waiting to see their kids/grandkids/parents/cousins and so forth take the stage and receive their degrees.

Commencement shouldn’t be one of those things where families are freaking out about attending because someone wants to charge $20 a ticket.

I get it, $20 doesn’t sound like a lot of money. It’s peanuts compared to the ever-growing cost of survival, which includes food, housing, transportation and health, and graduating students are trying to make a few bucks that they can stretch out over a longer period of time. They’re leaving the safety of financial aid or other forms of fiscal support. U.S. News & World Report writer Farrall Powell explains that according to student loans expert Mark Kantrowitz, the average graduate in 2016 has $37,172 in student debt and a survey by Citizen’s Bank found that 59 percent of students had no clue when they’d be able to pay off their student loans.

Debt is terrifying, undoubtedly so and no one can argue that selling an item that’s no longer needed is a smart way to make quick cash. Having said that, that item doesn’t need to be a ticket to Commencement. As a wise man in my life once said, anything non-health related that you haven’t used in the past six months can either be sold or tossed. Forget about selling the ticket for cash and sell those old composition textbooks instead.

For over four years, graduating students have experienced the meaning of the Freshman 15 and eating the same meal over and over again. They’ve dealt with running out of money a week before receiving their paychecks. They’ve even survived living with crappy roommates and fleeing to their parents’ homes to escape said crappy roommates. Of these and the dozen other depressing college-life cliches students are forced to deal with, buying a ticket to Commencement shouldn’t be one of them.  

Those of you who are considering selling your tickets — don’t. Just give them away to someone who needs them and walk away knowing you made a small contribution to someone’s peace of mind.

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    Nimrod Piggee


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