Many left Mackle-less: The real ‘March Madness’
If you were one of the lucky 2,000 students who obtained a ticket for this year’s WUStock, you witnessed a great performance by one of the top artists in America. To attend a school at which Macklemore can be contracted to perform makes each and every one of us lucky. However, the execution of this event, altered by both controllable and uncontrollable variables, caused about as many upsets as this year’s March Madness bracket. With a little more forethought, the Congress of the South 40 and Residential Life could have handled the event much, much better.
We acknowledge that the fickle weather of St. Louis and the availability of indoor spaces with adequate capacity are out of anyone’s control. A large amount of snow in late March could not have been predicted far in advance. And the effort to avoid complete cancellation deserves to be recognized. A weather plan in which all students could attend a school-wide event, however, should have been put in place much earlier.
Sending out an email merely a few hours before a limited amount of tickets were distributed demonstrated a complete lack of organization that was further exemplified by the frenzied distribution of tickets on Friday. Thousands of students lined up on the South 40, some for over two hours and some holding more than three IDs for friends that could either not make it on such short notice or were too impatient to wait in line. With no system to check off names of students that had already obtained tickets and a constantly changing the number of tickets available per student, many returned to the front of the line to get and sell extra, in-demand tickets, leaving more patient, deserving students without tickets. Furthermore, the email was only sent to students who live in ResLife housing, leaving students who live off campus to find out about the ticket distribution from friends or social media, and putting them at a substantial disadvantage in terms of getting in line.
This system was improved Sunday morning, in which students were given a card that indicated their place in line, but at that point only 250 tickets were available. The short notice on Friday ensured many students, whether in class, out of town or simply unavailable, would not be able to obtain a ticket, leaving many too frustrated or otherwise disenchanted with the process to try again. Saturday ticket distribution, in which all students would have a day’s notice, should have been considered.
While students certainly appreciate the opportunity to see an artist as well known and sought after as Macklemore, the disappointment and disorganization that accompanied these event changes affected students the most. Most importantly, creating a weather plan in advance as well as using resources available, including ResLife staff, Washington University Police Department and the CS40 Executive Board, would have helped things run more smoothly.