Approved by the:
Administrative Response:
Student Senate October 2, 2014
Gopher athletics has put together a plan that addresses the concerns about student ticket packages that a group of students raised and this resolution addresses. In creating the multi-sport student season ticket packages, Gopher athletics tried an approach that would reward the most engaged students to allow them to attend multiple sports at a discounted rate. The idea of "bundling" actually originated in a study of ticketing practices produced by Carlson School of Management students two years ago. In that study, they found that students favored this multi-sport option. For 70 percent of the students who purchased men's hockey and football season tickets last year, this year's packaging of the season tickets saved them $15. Nonetheless, the popularity of Gopher men's hockey resulted in a sell-out of these tickets during the time period of the multi-sport package sale, and so there was no opportunity for students to purchase a season ticket for just men's hockey. Such that hockey-only tickets are available to students, starting in the 2015-16 season, Gopher athletics will once again make single-sport season tickets available at the same time as multi-sport packages. In addition, Gopher athletics contacted all students who purchased any of the multi-sport packages for the current seasons to offer them a refund of the football portion of their package.

Resolution Against Gopher Athletics' Summer Student Season Ticket Bundling

WHEREAS, Gopher Athletics instituted a new student season ticket bundling system this summer, which restricted student choice by removing the option to purchase single season ticket passes for Men's Basketball and Men's Hockey until fall 2014;

WHEREAS, in prior years, students had the option and ability to purchase both season ticket bundles and single season ticket passes the summer before fall semester commenced;

WHEREAS, under the new ticket policy, students only had the option to purchase single season ticket passes for Men's Football; otherwise, students were required to purchase a season ticket pass to Men's Football if they wanted to purchase season tickets for Men's Hockey Games 1 or 2 or Men's Basketball prior to the beginning of the semester;

WHEREAS, in recent years, single season ticket passes for Men's Hockey Games 1 and 2 sold out during the summer months, and this year was no different;

WHEREAS, this new bundling system, in effect, forced students to purchase Men's Football season ticket passes in order to purchase Men's Hockey Games 1 and 2 student season ticket passes, at a total cost of about $175;

WHEREAS, by bundling student season ticket passes and restricting single season ticket pass choice, students who only wished to purchase Men's Hockey Games 1 or 2 single season ticket passes were forced to also buy Men's Football season ticket passes, at an increased cost of at least $74;

WHEREAS, this is a regressive policy as the increased upfront cost to secure a Men's Hockey Games 1 or 2 season ticket pass may have been too expensive for students from families with fewer financial resources, thereby limiting their ability to enjoy Men's Hockey;

WHEREAS, the promotional materials for this new bundling system ask students to "Join the Family," indirectly insulting any student who did not have the financial means to purchase a student season ticket package;

WHEREAS, no department at the University should implement any policy that in purpose or effect contradicts the goal for students, whether rich or poor, to "Live like students now" so they won't have to later;

WHEREAS, the new ticket policy was designed to increase the sales of Men's Football and Men's Basketball student season tickets by tying them to the sale of Men's Hockey Games 1 and 2 student season tickets (and this system seems to have worked);

WHEREAS, only one other Big Ten Conference Member (Indiana University) and no other Upper-Midwest peer school (UND, NDSU, etc.) restricts student season ticket choice by limiting early student season ticket pass sales to bundles for hockey or basketball;

WHEREAS, we believe that it is against both the fundamental principles of the University of Minnesota, the Big Ten Conference, and, indeed, the spirit of the laws of the United States, to implement any system or policy that directly or indirectly discriminates against students, especially on the basis of their socio-economic status;

WHEREAS, this new bundling system does not "promote a culture that integrates Intercollegiate Athletics into the broader campus community (see Board of Regents Policy on Intercollegiate Athletics - Twin Cities Campus, Section II (i) (emphasis added)), and promotes the financial interests of the Athletic Department at the expense of the University and its community (see Section II (k));

WHEREAS, we believe the letter and spirit of the University of Minnesota's institutional policies and procedures supports and promotes free student purchasing choice and the inclusion of as many students as possible in all University events;

WHEREAS, we believe Gopher Athletics' new student season ticket bundling system does not "comply with the letter and spirit of all institutional policies and procedures . . ." (Section III, Subd. 2);

THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Student Senate disagrees with and criticizes the Athletic Department's actions and denounces any and all season ticket packaging or bundling that restrict student choice and directly or indirectly limit student access to intercollegiate athletics;

RESOLVED, that the Student Senate insists that Gopher Athletics cease its bundling practices and return to a previous ticket policy next summer (2015), which does not force students to purchase bundles in order to secure a season ticket for any single sport;

RESOLVED, that the Senate requests the Board of Regents to address the above concerns and implement a system-wide policy to protect student choice from similar practices implemented by the Athletics Department or any other Department;

RESOLVED, that the Student Senate suggests the Athletics Department to do the following to rectify its past actions:
-Offer additional single season ticket passes for Men's Hockey Games 1 and 2 this fall;
-Offer refunds to students who did not wish to buy Men's Football season tickets, but did so because they were forced to do so.

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