New Convocation Center disappoints students

At first it sounded great: a new, state-of-the-art arena that would hold the UM men’s and women’s basketball games right here on campus. Planners and administrators said it would bring students together and it would increase school spirit. They even enticed us with promises of concerts and concession stands.
Frankly, nobody really bothered to ask many questions because we had all been waiting so long for construction of the new Convocation Center to be completed after months of delays and dozens of excuses. A steel shortage, sporadic crane malfunctions, sleepy workers – who can remember them all?
Who would have ever imagined that we would have to plan a week in advance if we wanted to attend a men’s game and that we would have to reserve a ticket on EASY from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. and pick up the tickets during another specified window of time? What about students who don’t have Internet access readily available to them outside of school?
On top of this, there are only 950 tickets available in the student section for a student body of over 14,000. Maybe we should have been told that the Convocation Center would leave over 13,000 UM students without a seat at basketball games.
And don’t forget, any unclaimed tickets are sold to the public. Apparently the University needs just a little more money. It seems to me, and to many people whom I’ve talked to, that something needs to be done about this policy.
Personally, I would rather travel downtown to watch the basketball games at the Miami Arena. It seems far more convenient to do that. Some people have to work, study, sleep and eat. Most people have enough problems trying to manage everyday life with schoolwork and employment. Most of us don’t have time to go online, sign in to EASY and request a ticket for a game that we may not even be able to attend for a variety of reasons.
Why can’t we show up the day of the game and swipe our ‘Cane cards like we do at the Orange Bowl for the football games? Don’t we pay an athletic fee for a reason? I mean, aren’t we already paying to go to the games? This is just the beginning. Pretty soon we may have to sign up a year in advance for 100 football tickets.

Leigha Taber is a junior majoring in psychology.