EDITORIAL: Halftime ‘practice’ restricting student entry should be eliminated

On Sept. 1, the Golden Panthers played their first game of the season against North Texas, and many students were prohibited from attending the game due to policies enacted by Student Affairs.
Students attending the game with their Panther IDs are not allowed to enter the stadium after halftime. This policy affects the turnout and discourages students from attending future games.

Although Student Affairs explained that this policy will not be applied to the upcoming Tuesday night game against Troy on Oct. 25, The Beacon believes it is unfair to not extend the open time-frame during Saturday games as well.

Student Affairs referred to this policy of restricting student entry as a practice.  However, because this restriction is explicitly stated in the FIU Fan Code of Conduct, which can be found on FIUSports.com, it is clearly a policy, not just a practice.
As contributors to Athletics through student fees, this policy puts students at a disadvantage. By paying $15.56 per credit hour in athletic fees, every student is, in essence, a season ticket holder.

In addition to paying the highest fees in the state of Florida among Football Bowl Subdivision schools, students are required to pay a $20 flat fee every year. With that, students deserve the right to enter the stadium regardless of time.

According to Rosa Jones, vice president of Student Affairs, this practice was enacted to “encourage students to attend the game from the beginning as opposed to tailgating for additional time.” Attendees who purchase their tickets are allowed into the stadium at any time, even if they are tailgating until the middle of the fourth quarter.

This discriminatory policy of turning students away after halftime is unfair and unnecessary, especially with a program looking to encourage students to participate in athletic events.  Whether it be because of obligations at work or in class, students should have the right to enter the stadium at any point in the game.

There are a number of universities, including schools in the Sun Belt Conference such as the Troy Trojans, that do not have restrictions on student access to home games after halftime. Like University students, Troy students get in free with a student ID.

Despite the Thursday night start and inclement weather conditions, students showed up in large numbers for the season opener and packed the student section, while the opposite end-zone was essentially void of life.

Students carry a large part of the weight when it comes to financing the Athletics, and are now beginning to show up to games in larger numbers. There is no need to keep students away after halftime.
The Beacon does not see a distinction between students and season ticket holders and, believes that they deserve the same type of access to University home games.

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