On Jan. 23, the New York Knicks were handed a crushing 95-116 loss at the hands of the now 46-4 Golden State Warriors.
What didn’t make the headlines, though, were the roughly 15 or so Manhattan College students who were denied entrance for having voided tickets, purchased through the Student Activities office.
“We had 100 tickets to the game, that I bought a year ago,” John Bennet, vice president for student activities said. “I went in [to the office] the next day with Michael Steele to look at the list of students [who bought tickets] and there was no list.”
Upon calling IT Services, Bennet found out that they had failed to set a limit on the number of tickets sold on PayPal to students, and that students were still buying tickets online, eventually selling 297 tickets, almost 200 more than the original number.
“[ITS’] answer to this was to email the students who bought extra and refund them and just tell them it was a technical glitch,” Bennett said. “Honestly I said ‘no way, we’re not doing that.’”
Instead, Student Activities received permission to purchase the extra tickets on StubHub, so that every student who paid could attend the game.
“The students didn’t do anything wrong, they innocently went online to buy tickets to a game that they’re excited about,” he said. “I didn’t think it was right or fair to punish students for doing that…I spent all last week with multiple credit cards—from the Dean’s office, the VP for student life, the multicultural center—buying tickets on StubHub to buy 170 tickets, we spent $50,000 over our budget to try to take care of students.”
When students arrived at the game, however, they found that some of those tickets from StubHub were fraud and, therefore weren’t allowed entry to the game.
Senior Jared Boyles was one of those students and he emailed The Quadrangle his story.
“We got to MSG and went through security fine, and got in line to enter the arena. My girlfriend, whose ticket I had purchased, came up as having already been used to enter the stadium when she gave it to the attendant,” he said in the email. “We went to the ticket window and when the guy asked where we’d purchased the ticket, we told him Manhattan College. He said he expected that, and that apparently numerous tickets from MC were being sent to him as duplicated.”
Boyles said he saw other groups of students also leaving the arena, like Louis Lippolis a junior, who said he and four of his six friends had been denied entrance.
“I asked if he could try the ticket again, then I asked the people at MSG if they could do anything, they couldn’t do anything,” Lippolis said. “A couple of us tried to email Student Activities, but I just went in on Monday.”
Bennett said he was furious when he found out about the mix up.
“I would be so angry as well, [students] didn’t do anything wrong, to think you bought tickets to the game, I would be devastated,” he said. “If you didn’t get in, come in, you’ll get a full refund for the money that you spent, we’ll also refund the subway, and we will also get you two tickets to a game for you, plus a guest for free.”
Bennet also said that he was trying to reach StubHub to find out what the problem was or which batch of tickets were duplicates. He also told The Quadrangle the Student Activities would suspend all online ticket sales until further notice.
“We were just trying to help, and we didn’t think the correct answer was to refund students,” he said. “I just feel bad because we ended up looking bad for something that wasn’t our fault.”
Students, though, say they are pleased with the work Student Activities has done since the mishap and understand that the office was not at fault.
“It is disappointing that we won’t be able to see the 2016 Warriors play, which was a huge reason for wanting to see that game in particular,” Boyles said. “Student Activities did a great job of handling what might have been a PR nightmare. I can’t complain with how they responded.”