Yesterday afternoon was like any other- I was sitting in the UGLi doing work. Well, pretending to, at least. Instead of burying my nose in books, I was engrossed by the ever-distracting Facebook. I was in the middle of my predictable regimen of checking my messages and notifications, when I was interrupted by a Facebook chat from a camp friend. Instead of the “hey, what’s up” this friend usually greets me with, he began with a “I think I was scammed.” Well… that’s unusual. I asked him what he meant and he pointed me to this article from “The Towerlight,” a publication put out by Towson University students. It described incidences in which event promoters, who appeared to be students, spoke to lecture halls before class began about concerts and parties they could buy tickets to. Many students bought tickets on the spot. The events in question were real; the tickets, however, were not.
The promoters were simply assumed to be part of a student activities organization on campus, but that assumption proved to be wrong. Suspicion grew after a few students noticed that these promoters appeared in multiple classes of theirs and recited the same spiel word for word to each class. At one point a professor asked to see one of the promoter’s student IDs and he simply said he didn’t have it on him. In reality, he did not have one at all. When my friend said he had been scammed, he was right. He bought a fake ticket to see a show in New York City from a person that was in no way affiliated with the show or the show’s venue.
I like the fact that the University of Michigan’s campus is open and accessible to students and the general public alike. I take great pleasure in seeing the occasional mother walk into the law library with her young child to show that child the majestic environment of education. I believe it’s a good thing that people outside the institution have access to our facilities, whether for practical use or simply to gaze at the tall embellished ceilings with awe. However, it’s disheartening that people like the promoters at Towson can effortlessly walk onto a campus and take advantage of trusting students. It’s even a little scary that anybody can pretend to be part of a university.
This incident has raised the question of how private and protected university campuses should be. I believe that the University of Michigan does quite a lot to protect its students, especially in the wake of the rise in crime at the beginning of the semester. In light of this ticket scam I can’t help but ask, should more be done?
By: Rachel Blumenstein
(Photo courtesy of sxc.hu)