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Hurry up and wait

The Observer Editorial Board | Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The start of school has always been associated with standing in long lines to fill out paperwork and perform other administrative chores. While this tedious culture has been improved by conducting enrollment and vehicle registration online, one major activity still does not harness the power of the Internet to perform administrative tasks: football ticket distribution.

Before the current seniors arrived on campus as freshmen, students camped out all night with their friends for football tickets. Because of problems such as abusive drinking, the administration halted this practice and is not likely to let it begin again.

Yet students must still go to the Stadium twice to obtain tickets. They must meet with the group of friends they want to sit with, or at least get their IDs, and stand in line twice – on one day to receive a lottery number and on another to purchase the tickets based on the results of the lottery.

Off-campus and Saint Mary’s students also have to wait in line to obtain their ticket application, which is mailed to Notre Dame students living on campus.

Clearly, this process is not the fun, social event it used to be.A Web-based system would nearly eliminate the need to stand in line and the confusion that accompanies it. Students would still receive a ticket application (possibly through e-mail), but it would contain a unique passcode for their football tickets.

Then, on enrollment Monday, students could get together with their friends and one person in the group would enter all the passcodes into the Web site, thus indicating their request to sit together. The lottery for seats would be conducted automatically, a computer would assign seats and students could pick up their tickets over the course of the next week at their convenience. Tickets could be paid for at that time or charged to a student’s account just like parking fees and books.

The current process for obtaining tickets is highly inefficient and time-consuming, and only adds frustration to a day in which students already must accomplish other tasks, such as changing classes and moving into dorms. The present system made sense when students enrolled at the Joyce Center and then went to the Stadium to purchase football tickets.

Now, many administrative tasks, such as enrollment and buying parking passes, can be accomplished online. The ticket office should recognize that football ticket distribution no longer holds the fun and excitement of past years. It should replace the present inefficient system in favor of an online one that would work better for students.