What’s one thing almost every student at UT can relate to? Being broke.
The struggle of balancing a full course load, a decent social life, and paying for the bills is the stereotypical image of any college student.
Finding ways of creating a small income without getting a day job can be extremely difficult but there is at least one way for any student to make money on their own time: reselling. Whether it’s those expensive sunglasses you don’t wear, a cool shirt that doesn’t fit you anymore, or a student ticket to a game you can’t attend, selling something you already own that’s in demand is always a great way of making a little extra cash on the side.
So why does UT limit us from profiting on the most valuable thing that we have to sell: student tickets?
We pay the university for everything. Unnecessary books, unnecessary classes, unnecessary fees, even our $300 Flex Plan is included in our overpriced tuition. And not once while in attendance does the university pay us back financially in any way, shape, or form. They buddy with fast food corporations, sell expensive apparel from the VolShop, but leave their students out to dry and wish them well with their student debt. Unsympathetic to a student’s financial struggle and not even attempting to play by their own rules.
Not only does this shine light on the shortcomings of UT’s humanitarian efforts, but also on its grasp on the real world. America is a capitalist society which is built on supply and demand, or at least that’s what they teach me at the college of business. If this is true, why should the university be able to restrict us making money on something we own? Although it may sound like students would be taking advantage of the low prices of student tickets, the university has already been paid in full through the programs and services fee. If anything, they’re preaching charity and fairness but practicing cold, hard capitalism.
Setting this limitation on tickets is not just inconvenient if you’re a student trying to sell, it’s unfair to students without a ticket and more than willing to buy one. You’ve purchased the ticket legally and fairly and now have supply. And with Tennessee as the number two market in college football for numerous years, I’d say there’s an obvious high demand. Customers in desperate want. When everything else in our lives operates on a free market system, it’s backwards that our school will reprimand us if we sell a single ticket.
How much profit margin does a single ticket have? “Time Magazine” says students at Alabama have resold their $5 tickets for $200, while some at Georgia sold theirs for upwards of $250. When considering that we buy tickets for $10, it may seem we’re talking about a sizeable amount of profit to be made. And for a student, this is. But in comparison, the university makes $145,000,000 from sports alone and still continues to outright prohibit students from earning a whopping $200.
There’s little rhyme or reason to this policy and ban on student ticket resales. It’s unfair to us students, and quite frankly it seems more than greedy when put into context. As a current student at UT, my only hope is that the school will try to understand how much stress we go through in our daily lives due to financial struggles.
Forbidding any student from relieving this burden in a fair and democratic way only adds to the feeling of helplessness in students and places them further in opposition with the university.
Canon King is a junior in the business exploratory program and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.