Correction appended: Due to an editing error, this article misquoted Rackham Student Government Vice President Dhruv Sud. The article quoted him as saying that graduate students were less passionate about sports than undergraduates, when he said graduate students who aren’t as passionate about sports don’t usually buy football tickets.
In an e-mail sent to students Monday night, the Athletic Ticket Office announced it would revert to using credit hours to determine seating priority for student football tickets, rescinding a policy that would have based priority on class standing. The e-mail said the Athletic Department has decided to uphold its decision to discontinue partner tickets for graduate students during the 2008 season.
The decision to return to credit hour-based seating means graduate students who did not receive their undergraduate degree from the University will have some of the best seats in the stadium’s student section. Before the Athletic Department rescinded the policy, though, these graduate students would have had the lowest seating priority.
The e-mail announcing the change came shortly after Marty Bodnar, the University’s athletic director for ticketing, met with a group of graduate students angry about the policy. The proposal would have placed graduate students who didn’t receive an undergraduate degree from the University below incoming freshmen.
Dentistry student Aaron Larock said he was satisfied with the revised policy and appreciated the University’s approach after meeting with Bodnar on Monday.
Larock said he was pleased that the University didn’t follow the policy of other Big Ten schools that put a cap on the number of student seats available.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison limited the number of available student tickets to 10,500, according to The Badger Herald, a student newspaper. The tickets sold out three days after they went on sale.
Although the student section of the Big House accommodates about 20,000 fans, the University of Michigan doesn’t limit ticket sales to this capacity. Instead, a seat is guaranteed to every student who wants to buy a ticket. Last year, more than 3,000 extra tickets were sold, with these students placed in seats scattered around the stadium.
Bodnar said the proposed policy was an effort to reduce the number of incoming freshmen with seats outside the student section.
To make up for the displacement, he said, the Athletic Department had to eliminate partner tickets, which graduate students used to be able to buy for their spouse, child or domestic partner.
Dhruv Sud, Rackham Student Government vice president, said graduate students would revisit the partner ticket issue in the future but students should have priority over family members for student section tickets. He also acknowledged that graduate students don’t seem to be as passionate about sports as undergraduates.
Sud said he thought most graduate students understood the University’s decision to eliminate partner tickets.