Mississippi State University sent out a mass-email via its MSU announcements platform Tuesday afternoon reminding students the university policy on student identification card usage. Along with re-iterating the said policy, the email also stated students found violating this policy will face disciplinary sanctions through the Dean of Students office. The email was distributed to ensure non-students do not occupy the student section during MSU football games.
“It is against MSU policy for anyone other than the student identified on the MSU ID card to use your MSU ID card. This card is the property of MSU and is non-transferrable. Students cannot let other students or non-students use their ID,” the email said.
On Thursday afternoon, the MSU Athletic Department implemented a new student ticket transfer option exclusively for the game against Auburn.
Another email was sent out to the entire student body which said, “Student season ticket holders may initiate this transfer by coming to the Bryan Athletic Building Ticket Office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday or Friday. Tickets may not be transferred on Saturday. Students wishing to transfer their Auburn game ticket must present their ID along with the name and NetID of the student to whom they wish to transfer the ticket. The student receiving the transferred ticket may pick it up, in person, by presenting a valid MSU student ID at the will call window in the North end of Davis Wade Stadium beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.”
The 2014 football campaign is the inaugural season where the MSU Athletics Department has introduced the online portal for issuing student tickets. MSU students have to swipe their ID cards at the entry gates of Davis Wade Stadium before they enter.
MSU’s stricter implementation of the student ID usage policy has made it difficult for students to sell, gift or rent their student tickets as the MSU student ID is the sole proof that a student has purchased tickets for the season. This has led to students exchanging ID cards instead of paper tickets.
Jessica Marie Ates, sophomore business administration major, expressed her concern of not being able to sell her ticket.
“It is my ticket and I paid for it and if I am unable to attend the game then I should be able to sell or transfer my ticket to someone who can be there,” she said.
Travis Dulaney, junior double major in history and philosophy, said he is completely against the new regulations.
“I know that the ID is used for other things than the game. If the student who has bought tickets cannot use them for some reason or another wants to allow someone else who would enjoy the game to use their ID, I believe that is perfectly acceptable,” Dulaney said. “The owner of the ID is voluntarily letting the one who gets the ID use it. Would it be easier if we as students got both parties to sign consent forms that would stipulate anything other than just going to the game would have legal ramifications? I am all for the safety of students but this is really a trivial matter. Is there not a way that cameras and computer software could track misuse of the IDs?”
Many MSU students expressed that the athletics department, in an email earlier this fall, had said a student will have an option of transferring his or her ticket if he or she is unable to attend a game, “a policy that has not been successful,” the students said.
After MSU’s Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon about the stricter implementation of ID cards policy, there were many students who took to the social media website to express dissent against the university’s stricter regulation.
“I paid for the ticket, I should be able to do whatever I want with it,” a student said. Another said, “When I bought my tickets, it was stated very clearly that I would be able to transfer tickets to another individual on a per-game basis if I wanted to. Why can I still not do that? People wouldn’t be swapping IDs if we could transfer tickets.”
Thomas Bourgeois, MSU dean of students, said it has always been university policy that student IDs are issued to the student only and are not for use by anyone but the student.
“As far as students selling their tickets. We would expect students to follow the law,” Bourgeois said referring to the Mississippi scalping law.
The Mississippi scalping law states, “It shall be unlawful for any admission ticket to any athletic contest of any college or university of the State of Mississippi or for any admission ticket to any entertainment event held on state property to be sold for a price in excess of the price printed on the face of the ticket.
It shall be unlawful to sell any such admission tickets at any place or in any manner except at such places and in such manner as designated by the proper authorities issuing such tickets.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit a private individual from selling tickets bought for personal use at a price not to exceed the price on the face of the ticket.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.”
Bourgeois said, “As far as the transfer ticket option, that is a question for athletics that handles student ticket distribution.”
Alex Moore, junior biological engineering major, said she supports MSU’s stricter execution of ID policy.
“I am for the new policy. I work weekends and even when I took off early there wasn’t room in the stands for me to find a place to stand much less sit when I walked in during the second quarter,” Moore said. “Yes, it is amazing that the attendance has risen but there are actual students who want to watch the game who aren’t able to find seats.”
Brett Harris, president of the MSU Student Association, said the SA is listening to student concerns on the issue.
“I believe students like not having to wait in line, but students are concerned with the user-friendliness, and we will work to fix that next year,” Harris said. “We are listening to students concerns as well as having concerns ourselves, and we are working with our athletic department to come up with a solution.”