Sell-out costs students

Construction for Science Formal is in its final week. The event takes place Saturday night.
Construction for Science Formal is in its final week. The event takes place Saturday night.

Luke Murray, Sci ’12, wanted to bring his girlfriend to Science Formal this Saturday, but said he couldn’t afford to pay triple the marked ticket price after regularly-priced guest tickets were sold out.

“She was pretty upset,” Murray said.

After tickets sold out, students used outlets like Facebook and Kijiji to buy, sell and exchange tickets.

On Wednesday, Murray tried to sell his own $120 ticket on the Queen’s Engineering 2012 Facebook group because he couldn’t attend the event with his girlfriend. He said he was offered around $220 for it.

This weekend, approximately 600 people will attend the annual formal.

The event is budgeted to cost approximately $80,000. Separate ticket sales were held for those in the 2012 Engineering class and their guests.

In an email sent by Science Formal Convener Emily Haggarty to the 2012 class, she wrote that all Sci’12s who wanted to attend the event were accommodated. Due to fire code restrictions, not all guests were able to receive tickets.

Though Murray received offers to buy his ticket, he wasn’t able to sell it because he’d missed the Oct. 29 deadline for ticket transfers.

Those who had exchanged tickets were required to confirm the name change, as names are checked for admittance into the formal.

Guests unable to purchase a ticket could put their name on a waiting list. In an email sent out to the Sci’12 listserve on Oct. 21, Haggarty said the event was officially sold out.

“If we have anyone state that we are unable to come we will work down the long waiting list,” Haggarty wrote in the email. “The waiting list is long enough already that we will not be adding anyone else to the waiting list.” In the email, Haggarty also wrote that guests aren’t required to be significant others because there’s no way to enforce this rule.

“I would really like to encourage anyone who is bring a random artsci friend for fun to realize that this guest is taking the space that could go to (for example) a Sci’12’s girlfriend of 5 years, who has already bought a dress/book plane tickets to travel to Kingston [sic],” she wrote.

Science Formal requires all Sci’12 students to put in 40 hours of labour towards the construction for the event.

This year’s theme is ‘Great cities of the world.’ Guests who are also Queen’s students are expected to put in 10 hours, while non-Queen’s guests aren’t required to put in hours.

Engineering students can transfer hours to each other, however there is a 50 per cent loss in the number of hours when this occurs.

“There is no policy on selling hours,” Engineering Society President Derrick Dodgson told the Journal via email. “It would be impossible to enforce any such policy.”

Dodgson added that it also wasn’t possible to prevent tickets from being resold at a higher value than the original $120.

“Students have been encouraged not to sell their tickets for profit,” Dodgson, Sci ’11, said.

At the Clarktion charity auction on Oct. 22, at Clark Hall Pub. Dodgson auctioned off his guest ticket, with the final bid at $900. The proceeds went to the Frontenac Mental Health Services Outreach Centre. He said he’d planned to auction off a ticket before he knew tickets were sold out.

“The sell-out occurred before the Clarktion event took place,” Dodgson said. “On the night of, several individuals came to attempt to purchase the ticket for their guests who were unable to get tickets during the initial sale.”

Dodgson said the Sci’ 12 class is larger than the average class size in previous years, and that this could explain the higher demand for tickets.

Dodgson said next year tickets will be sold earlier in the fall to avoid this situation from being repeated.

“Students will also be informed of the chances of tickets selling out during the guest ticket selling sessions,” he said.


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