Even with a ban on spring practice, the problems of football crop up at strangely unseasonal times. All through the winter, for example, the inequities of ticket distribution have plagued the H.A.A. and, judging from the number of groups investigating the situation, the ticket question will probably still be unanswered this springs.
Remembering the weekly crush of students in the Union basement last fall, most people are agreed that the present system is something less than satisfactory. At first, the obvious solution seemed an envelope system, with students mailing out money with a self-addressed envelope and receiving tickets by return mail. But H.A.A. officials pointed out the obvious dangers of loss and theft in such a system.
Now the Undergraduate Council, an independent group representing clubs and organizations, and a Student Council committee are each drafting plans. By combining the best points of these proposals, the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Athletics could arrive at a fair, workable plan for the coming season.
To avoid overcrowding at the H.A.A., one plan has recommended ordering and distributing tickets through the Houses, with the House athletic secretary doing the leg work between the two distributors. Although more convenient for students, this plan would not solve the problem of possible loss and red-tape. More important, it would limit the spectator to sitting only with men from his own House. Now this might be the unifying experience sought since the beginning of the House system, but it is unpleasantly confining, too.
More practical would be a modification of this year's procedure, eliminating the delays and jam-ups. Students would come into the H.A.A. in the morning of their class' assigned day, fill out an order for tickets with their money, and leave. In the three hours from 9:00 a.m. to noon, there should be little crowding of the office since the whole process would be brief and would require no line. In the afternoon, the staff could fill the orders at random with no special preference for the early comer. The next morning, senior would pick up their tickets at the desk while juniors are filling out orders; the H.A.A. staff would be working at a steady rate all through the day with no frantic crowds at any one time. The procedure would also take much less of the student's time, since he would not need to jostle about the offices for an entire afternoon.
Such a plan would take care of the vast majority of spectators fairly and quickly. But disclosures of mal-practices last fall made it clear that there is an additional problem to consider. This is the plight of the members of a club or organization who want to attend the game as a group. Because this reasonable wish has been thwarted in the past, some clubs have indulged in under-the-counter deals to get blocks of tickets.
There is nothing evil about friends getting adjoining tickets at football games. And the fact that they happen to be in the HLU or a club is no reason to deny them such a privilege. Complaints about club blocs arose only because members were getting special attention at the tickets office. An arrangement should be made for groups of over four students, including every club and organization, to fill large orders after individual applicants for the day received their tickets. Also, the group could only sit in the section of its youngest classmate. Under this system, a final club, whose members are either juniors or seniors, would get seats in the section between juniors and sophomores.
With this plan, both obstacles in the present ticket plan would be by-passed. The jumble of pre-game afternoons at the H.A.A. would be eliminated, without the cumbersome middleman system proposed for the Houses and men from different Houses could sit together at the games. Also, if they wanted to sacrifice better seats for conviviality, students in large groups could attend in a bloc. Elimination of the past mistakes and inefficiencies in distribution is definitely worth the investigations and the committees appointed. The above plan, with its considerations of both speed and convenience, answers the awkward ticket question.