The Forbidden Campus Side Hustle: Seniors Resell Spare Graduation Tickets for Quick Cash

Courtesy of Loyola University ChicagoSome students have turned to selling their spare graduation tickets to students in need for upward of $150.

Some graduating seniors are selling their extra commencement ceremony tickets online for hundreds of dollars despite receiving them for free. 

One student told The Phoenix she sold two tickets for the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony in less than 20 minutes for $100 each.

Loyola provides most graduating students with six free tickets, though students in the College of Arts and Sciences receive four free tickets, according to Loyola’s Commencement website

The university said it plans to review ticketing after the April 15 deadline. If more tickets are able to be provided to students, the university said it will alert students, according to LUC Commencement

Loyola hasn’t added any commencement ceremonies at this time and Loyola spokesperson Anna Shymanski Zach said the sale of graduation tickets is prohibited. Each reported situation will be dealt with individually, she said in an email to The Phoenix. 

“Violators will have their tickets revoked,” Shymanski Zach said.

In addition, the School of Communication sent an email on April 7 to students and said students can’t resell their graduation tickets or parking passes.

At Loyola, commencement ceremonies are broken up by the colleges within the university. Due to the capacity of Gentile Arena, the College of Arts and Sciences will have both a morning and afternoon ceremony, according to the commencement website. 

But some students told The Phoenix they think the university isn’t providing enough tickets. 

Faris Ziyad, a senior studying biology, said he’s searching for a spare ticket because he’s part of a large family and doesn’t want to deprive any of his supporters from watching him walk across the stage.

“I am the oldest of five siblings and have two loving parents,” Ziyad, 22, said. “I don’t understand why Loyola would not find a way to accommodate enough people so that every graduate could bring their loved ones to commencement.”

Some students are left choosing between their relatives and must decide what family members are invited. 

“If I’m unable to get a fifth ticket I’ll have to pick between my two grandmas and both have been such a huge part of my academic journey,” Myah Wells, a senior studying psychology, told The Phoenix.

Wells is not alone— students have flooded social media outlets in search for spare tickets. 

Shymanski Zach told The Phoenix that the number of tickets allotted to students is largely due to the capacity of Gentile Arena.

The occupational limit for Gentile Arena is 4,381 guests, according to Conference Services. Ticket amount is determined by the size of the graduating class. Therefore, if there are more students within a specific college, they will be given less tickets in order to adhere to Gentile Arena’s occupation restrictions. 

One student, who asked not to be named out of fear of consequences from the university, sold two tickets for $100 each.

“Four to six tickets is not enough for people who have large families or wish to invite extended family such as grandparents,” they told The Phoenix. 

Another student who The Phoenix isn’t naming said they sold their tickets to help out with other graduation costs.

“I sold it because money’s super tight with all the senior events coming up,” said a student who sold two spare tickets. “I did feel a little bad asking for money from a classmate but the girl was super sweet.”

A third student said they sold two tickets for the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony in less than 20 minutes for $100 each. 

The majority of tickets on student Facebooks groups were listed between $100 to $150.

“Choosing which siblings will attend breaks my heart,” Ziyad told The Phoenix. “I love all my siblings and as their role model I want them to see that through hard work and dedication they can also make it through college.”

To alleviate the heartache some students are feeling, students like Grayce Sweetman, a senior studying cognitive neuroscience, suggested increasing the number of ceremonies.

“Graduation is a capstone at Loyola, the least they can do is let students bring the people they want to bring,” Sweetman, 21, said. 

“The selling of graduation tickets and parking passes is prohibited, and we maintain a zero tolerance policy on this,” said Lauren Sanchez, assistant dean of the School of Communication. “If you or someone you know has purchased tickets from another student, you are within your rights to report this to me.”

Sanchez said in an email to The Phoenix there has been one confirmed report of a student reselling commencement tickets. 

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