Our View: False hope for speech ticketholders

DKS Editors

Summary: The disappointment from fans denied entry to the M.A.C. Center could have been avoided.

Hundreds of people with a ticket to Barack Obama’s speech at the M.A.C. Center Wednesday received word of their relegation to overflow seating at the Kent Student Center Ballroom less than an hour before they had expected to witness firsthand the special, historic experience of a sitting president appearing on campus.

Ed Moisio, Kent State fire prevention and safety coordinator, confirmed to The Daily Kent Stater Thursday that the number of allocated tickets exceeded the number of people that would fit in the M.A.C. Center.

Don’t get us wrong — we read the disclaimer on our tickets reminding us that they don’t guarantee our admission to the event. We heard Eric Mansfield, executive director of university media relations, warn the same thing.

But some of us also noticed the Kent State College Democrats post multiple notices on their Facebook page that “rumors regarding capacity limits have zero basis in reality.” We wonder how many people trusted that the group responsible for distributing tickets on campus wouldn’t spread false information.

Having more clarity about precisely how many tickets were available and how many people could fit in the building would have been helpful. Hopefully that is something the Obama campaign and stage preparers could improve upon if another event of this magnitude were to happen here again.

We also feel it would have been more respectful to set a hard limit on ticket distribution that doesn’t exceed room capacity. This way, people who waited in the ticket line Monday only to leave empty-handed would have at least known two days in advance that their chance of seeing the president was zero.

Instead, hundreds moved through the line Wednesday afternoon excited to see Obama, only to learn the hours they spent waiting were a waste, and that they had mere minutes to find a television somewhere. That’s just callous.

We’re glad those whom security turned away from the event could still watch Obama’s speech on TV2, KentWired and C-SPAN. But it just doesn’t feel as great after having anticipated seeing it in person.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.