Auburn Student Senate voted Monday evening to put a referendum on the spring SGA elections ballot that will give students the chance to decide how post-season student tickets are distributed.
The referendum will appear on the election day ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
The referendum includes four options for students including a random lottery system, a credit-hour priority system, loyalty-based priority system and a credit-hour, loyalty-based priority system.
College of Liberal Arts Sen. Jordan Kramer sponsored a bill to authorize the student body vote.
“One of the goals of SGA this year has been to improve the gameday experience and student satisfaction with that experience," Kramer said. "After the post-season this year, on social media and throughout campus, there was some disagreement on how tickets were distributed. Because we’ll be going to the championship again next year, we’d like to amend that system.”
A random lottery is
The loyalty-based priority system would provide priority ticket distribution to students who have the least number of penalty points for that football season, giving students who attend the most games the best chance at getting a post-season student ticket.
The final system, a credit hour and loyalty-based priority, will combine the previous two systems awarding students with the least number of penalty points and the highest number of credit hours top priority in ticket distribution.
The details of the referendum were amended several times on the floor. The credit-hour priority and loyalty-based priority distribution systems were both amended to include language that specifies how ties in credit hours will be handled.
Tickets will be distributed to students in order of decreasing credit hour. If a certain credit hour level is reached and there are more students at that level than available tickets those students will be entered in a random lottery.
In the loyalty-based priority system, students who have the least number of penalty points for that current season will receive priority for tickets. Similarly, if the number of eligible students exceeds the number of available tickets, all students with the least number of penalty points will be entered into a random lottery.
The final option, a combined credit-hour and loyalty priority system, was added through amendments as a new option on the referendum. It was added after questions were raised regarding the large need for a random lottery in both the credit hour priority system and loyalty based priority system.
After SGA received backlash for changes to the student ticketing policy over the last two years, senators decided a referendum was the best way to ensure student satisfaction with the change to the student ticketing policy.
“That includes direct student input, and the best way to do that is to use a referendum, and we’d like that up by spring elections, which is why we advanced it," Kramer said.e
The change to the student ticket distribution policy does not come as a shock to most as 2017 SEC Championship student ticket distribution was a highly controversial and talked-about topic among students on social media.
A petition calling for post-season tickets to be distributed first to upper-classmen received more than 1,470 signatures.
Comments on the petition included critiques that encouraged the Auburn Football Ticket Office to make all playoff, bowl and SEC Championship game tickets based on credit-hour priority rather than a random drawing.
The petition cites other SEC schools — including Alabama and Georgia — that use a credit-hour priority student ticket distribution system. The petition's author said freshman students come in understanding they will need to wait their turn.
Upperclassmen "have certainly earned the right to the first of the tickets," the petition read. "Auburn freshmen still have three more years of Auburn football to enjoy."
This is one of many changes made to the student ticketing policies in the last three years. The most recent changes occurred before the beginning of the 2017 season with the replacement of the student-to-student ticket exchange with a ticket pool as well as the addition of penalty points.
The 2016 season included significant changes to the student ticketing system including the way first-year students receive tickets. The change made it where first-year students apply for a random lottery to determine which ticket package they would be able to purchase.
First-year ticket packages change with each season. In the 2017 season, first-year students could get one of two ticket packages. The first of which included all games excluding Alabama and the other which included all games excluding Georgia.
To participate in the referendum on the postseason football student ticket distribution, Auburn students can vote in the upcoming election on AU Access.