Last week, hundreds of seniors camped out in Laurie Auditorium in hopes of receiving extra commencement tickets. Pillows, blankets, tents and anxious seniors lined the circular hallway outside of the box office the night before extra tickets became available.
Students were afraid to fall asleep, fearing that people would cut their place in line. Some even refused to leave to go to the bathroom.
In the morning, students were shocked to see that the box office was actually not giving out the extra tickets. Instead, the tickets had been spread out all over the auditorium and students were expected to fight over tickets in a style similar to the Hunger Games.
â€œWe wanted to create a final bonding activity for the senior class before graduation,â€ said Blutarch Sevensbee, box office employee at Laurie Auditorium. â€œWe felt that this would really increase the camaraderie between them.â€
As soon as the doors of the auditorium were open, students sprinted in as fast as they could. Fights broke out between several people, and alliances began to form. One group of seniors was able to secure 23 tickets between them.
â€œIt was really hard dodging all of the books being thrown at us,â€ said senior Reeta Pellark. â€œOur strategy was just to trip as many people as possible and grab the tickets out of their hands.â€
While hundreds of seniors were throwing backpacks, pulling hair and spilling water bottles on each other to get their extra tickets, some seniors decided to avoid the mess altogether and make their own counterfeit tickets.
Senior Peetee Vatier, who was previously known around campus for making fake IDs, has turned his fake ID machine into a counterfeit ticket machine. He is charging $20 per fake ticket.
â€œThe idea came to me one afternoon when my friend told me that heâ€™d rather just buy an extra ticket instead of waiting in line for one,â€ Vatier said. â€œSince then, Iâ€™ve had dozens of people offer to buy fakes from me. Iâ€™m hoping the word spreads so I can make enough money to take a post-graduation trip to Cabo.â€
Many students who do not need extra tickets are glad that they were able to avoid the brawl in the auditorium.
â€œI wouldâ€™ve hated to be part of that,â€ said senior Yale Mawthorne. â€œI was walking down the hallway outside of the auditorium and heard all the screaming and yelling. It didnâ€™t seem worth it just so Grandma can have a seat at graduation.â€
All the extra commencement tickets were claimed within an hour after the auditorium doors opened.
Only 17 minor injuries were reported.