Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor
As Spring Commencement grows nearer, some of those graduating May 5 have been holding their breaths.
Weeks after graduating students were asked to take a survey regarding Spring Commencement ticket needs, Ohio State announced it would be allow seven tickets for each graduate.
Nick Messenger, a graduating fourth-year in economics and former Undergraduate Student Government president, said he had engaged in conversation with university officials to get the ticket allotment raised.
“A lot of people had booked hotels and paid for things … so it was kind of a bummer a couple months out to think we were only gonna get four,” Messenger said. “Hopefully seven will accommodate everyone.”
OSU seems to have settled on seven after a controversy ensued following the February announcement that President Barack Obama would be speaking at commencement and graduating students would be limited to four tickets for their friends and family.
The four-ticket limit was extended to six tickets per graduating student on Feb. 26.
According to an email sent to graduating students at about noon Wednesday, additional tickets could still become available.
Students must order their tickets through Ticketmaster starting at 4 p.m. Friday, according to the Wednesday email. They can be ordered until Monday at 5 p.m., and “must be printed using the TicketFast print-at-home feature.”
The email included instructions for how to receive a passcode needed to order the tickets. Graduating students do not need a ticket themselves, nor do guests under age 2.
The ceremony is scheduled for May 5 at Ohio Stadium.
In addition to increased security from the president’s visit, university officials said the ticket limit was in part due to renovations in the ‘Shoe.
Several weeks ago, soon-to-be-graduates were asked to fill out an online survey that would indicate how many tickets they would prefer.
“Should some tickets become available after the initial ordering period, we will certainly make people aware of that,” said Gayle Saunders, assistant vice president of media and public relations. “(But first we) gotta get a good sense on what people need.”
OSU President E. Gordon Gee said in an interview with The Lantern March 25 that ticketing at the entrance was unavoidable.
“No one goes to anything, a public setting, with the president of the United States without having had tickets,” Gee said. “It’s just what the Secret Service demands.”
About 12,000 students are set to graduate this spring, making this the largest commencement in OSU history.
Ryan Cunningham, a fourth-year in finance who will graduate in May, already knows how his tickets will be divided.
“Five to immediate family and two to friends,” he said. “My dad works for the university so he gets to go with the faculty, so from that standpoint I’m a little better off than most people.”
But still, Cunningham said four tickets would not have been enough.
After the original four-ticket limit was announced, a commencement ticket black market almost immediately started forming online, with students attempting to sell their tickets for up to about $1,000 each, according to a Feb. 25 Lantern article.
Messenger said he thinks this won’t be a problem with the new limit.
“I think that seven is a high enough number that there won’t be a secondary market,” Messenger said.