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The Latest Distraction: Student Seating

Ugliness.

Falling. Pulling. Pushing. Peeing.

With events such as these seen by students and spectators at Saturday's football game at Carter-Finley Stadium, Student Government said it pledges to fix overcrowding issues before the Florida State game on Oct. 5.

"We are going to fix this before the Florida State game if we have to do it ourselves," Will Quick, student body president, said.

He indicated that he heard first-hand reports of people urinating in the stands.

"I know people were urinating in their sections," Quick said. "I have heard reports of individuals being splashed by urine."

The urinating in the stands as well as other issues such as fans falling and pushing each other, stem from an overcrowding issue acknowledged by both Quick and Campus Police.

I am so glad they waited until the year after I graduated to install the general admission ticket policy. Under the previous system, crowding was still an issue--I can remember numerous games where I felt like a sardine--but it was nothing like what general admission hath wrought.

During my junior and senior years (the 2003 and 2004 football seasons), I maintained a high rank in the Student Wolfpack Club, so I regularly sat in the first 4-5 rows of section six. On the front row especially, I always had to wade through people who didn't have a ticket for the section. I remember getting into the Miami game ('04) a little later than usual (maybe 20 mins before kickoff) and seeing people two-deep in front of my seat on the first row. My friends and I could barely squeeze into the row, and we ended up only in the vicinity of where our seats actually were. Whenever I sat further up (maybe halfway up the section or higher), though, crowding was not a problem. Maybe that remains true with the new system...but it sure doesn't seem like it.

A lot of people have suggested having the ushers check the tickets prior/during the game to help solve this problem, but I don't think that is feasible--even under the old system where everyone had an assigned seat. There's a ton of people crammed into a small area; the game is about to start and it's hard to hear yourself think much less someone talk to you; and it just takes too long. There isn't enough manpower to resolve every seating conflict, not to mention that many ushers simply don't care.

If it were up to me, I'd go back to assigning everyone a seat. The administration implemented the general admission policy to encourage students to show up early, which wasn't necessary. Students were already pretty good about being in their seats before kickoff; I usually took my seat 45 minutes before kickoff. If the current system has made a difference to the atmosphere, it's been negligible.

What they're doing right now isn't worth the headache. It's ridiculous that people can't leave their section because either (1) they won't be allowed re-entry, or (2) they'll have their seat taken by someone else and have no hope of getting it back. That detracts significantly from the gameday experience. (And getting peed on? Also somewhat detracts from the experience). Students are part of the problem; I understand that. But the article makes it obvious that the current ticket policy is too flawed to be properly enforced. At the least, stadium officials need to get on the same page. A student quoted in the article says, "No one there knew what was going on," which is a joke.

[Update: I just dropped by The Red and White From State and noticed they said many of the same things earlier today.]