Students still mad over football tickets

Like a lot of students, Will Smalley waited for hours to buy a ticket to this weekend’s football game against UCF. And like a lot of students, he left empty-handed.

And very frustrated.

“It’s just extremely unfair what happened,” said Smalley, a junior majoring in criminology.

He’s referring to an incident Tuesday that involved one student purchasing about 400 of the available 1,250 tickets.

In turn, Smalley created a Facebook group called “Let’s all thank the fratboy tool that bought nearly half of the SG Tickets!”

As of late Thursday, the group had 125 members. Later, the group wasn’t available on the Web site. A similar group had 17 members.

“Students are mad, and we want to be heard,” Smalley said. “It’s just wrong what happened.”

Smalley, like many of the group members, blamed Student Government – which sold the tickets at a discounted price of $5 – for not capping the amount of tickets one student can buy or not verifying the validity of University identification numbers. Charlie Aguirre, the interfraternity council treasurer who bought 400 tickets, brought a Microsoft Excel sheet with about 400 UIDs, and SG sold him the tickets.

Smalley posted Aguirre’s cell phone number and e-mail address on Facebook, but removed the information after he said Aguirre called him and threatened legal action. Smalley also said Aguirre hinted at physical violence, telling him, “Me and my boys will see you at the game.”

Former student body Vice President Andrew Aubery, who is also vice president of programming for Sigma Phi Epsilon and a friend of Aguirre, said Aguirre has been receiving threats from angry students. Aubery said he didn’t know the details of the threats, and Aguirre did not return phone calls Thursday afternoon.

Aguirre told the Oracle on Tuesday that he, along with other fraternities, started planning the bulk purchase before classes even started this semester. He said his only intention was to have a large Greek presence at the game.

“I believe I was as fair as everybody else,” he said on Tuesday. “Anybody else could have called up their friends and did the same thing I did.”

But that seems unreasonable to the students who waited in line for hours only to leave without a ticket.

“For someone to just go and buy a third of the tickets himself, that’s just really unfair,” student Heath Frederick said. “Student Government really dropped the ball on this one.”

SG adviser David Armstrong said he suggested there be a five- or 10-ticket purchase limit per student to avoid these types of problems. But SG leaders have the final say, he said.

“They wanted to fill the seats,” Armstrong said. “And this is what they thought would do that best.”

Sometime next week, Armstrong plans to meet with SG student leaders to discuss what could or should have been done differently.

“We just need to talk about the way the whole operation was conducted,” he said.

Smalley, who ended up purchasing a full-price $35 ticket, feels bad for the students who can’t afford to go.

“How many people want to go but now they can’t because they can’t afford it?” he said. “I’ll be sure to look at the USF section at the game, and every seat better be filled.”