In the seedy underbelly of the “Cal Poly SLO Class of 2019” Facebook group, a rudimentary bartering system has emerged. While it is not for the sale of illegal substances or negotiating with professors for permission numbers — it is for additional commencement tickets.
Graduating students receive seven complimentary tickets from Cal Poly. According to University Spokesperson Matt Lazier, this number was determined based on the new structure of the commencement ceremony.
“Instead of three ceremonies with two colleges each, it will be two ceremonies with three each — but in the same venue as past years,” Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News. “There will naturally be more graduates taking part in each ceremony because of this. That determines the allotment of tickets per graduate.”
Graduating students received 10 tickets each for spring 2019 ceremonies.
However, this number often does not work out for everyone. For some, it is an abundance; for others, it cannot accommodate their large group of supporters. In the past, Cal Poly has recommended students contact their friends who are not using all of their tickets.
Forestry and natural resources senior Ethan Fagan, who has a family of 13, is still on the hunt for extra tickets.
“I believe [the system] is equitable because no one gets a better opportunity than others,” Fagan said. “However, I feel that it is not fair allocating as small [an] amount as this, because you have to choose what part of your family can come and who can’t if you have a larger family.”
Despite his efforts to barter, Fagan has yet to have any luck in acquiring the elusive extra tickets.
“It is a significant weight on us to provide for all family members, and the pressure of that gets really overbearing when we should be able to feel relieved and happy to graduate,” Fagan said.
On the flip side, other students find that the seven tickets are more than enough. These students are popular this time of year, as their posts advertising the sale of commencement tickets can garner up to 20 responses. Computer science senior Oscar Jones said he was on the benefitting end of the ticket market.
“The current system seems fair enough to me,” Jones said. “Everyone gets allocated the same fixed amount. Some people invite a lot of family, and some don’t, which explains the variation in need. I’m of the opinion that a marketplace is the best way to balance a supply and demand problem.”
The Commencement Office accepted requests for additional tickets, beyond the severn all graduates receive, earlier in the year.
Those still looking for tickets can pay anywhere from $20 to $50 per ticket, according to posts on the class Facebook page.