By Maya Hermerding
[email protected]

As many students now know, tickets for the annual Thanksgiving Dinner at St. John’s went on sale this week. But wait, one might say, I didn’t know this! When did they go on sale?

The response isn’t as easy as one might anticipate because it’s not a single date or time. First, Johnnie floors and student-athletes from both campuses were given the option to reserve their tickets, so they have the opportunity to sit together as a community. Second, ticket sales were opened to Johnnies on Monday from 11 a.m-2 p.m. Finally, non-athlete Bennies were able to get their Thanksgiving tickets at 4 p.m.

Clearly, this system of ticket distribution favors specific groups of students over others. Despite the fact that I arrived at Br. Willie’s Pub at 3:40 p.m., as a senior, non-athlete Bennie, I did not even have the option of sitting in the Great Hall for my final Thanksgiving Dinner at CSB/SJU. Distributing tickets in this manner sends a clear message to the student body—these institutions value community among athletes and Johnnie floors over other campus bodies.

Giving preferential treatment to these students devalues the contributions that individuals such as myself bring to the two institutions. Why are athletic achievements being celebrated while successes in other extracurricular groups go unnoticed?

Another blatant issue with ticket distribution is the preferential treatment of Johnnies over Bennies. Why do they receive access to tickets first? Are we not two institutions that act like one? Students should be given equal access to all
campus events, regardless of gender identification. If those hosting the Thanksgiving Dinner insist on giving Johnnies preferential treatment, then at least Bennies should receive similar treatment when the Christmas Dinner tickets go on sale. Over the past four years, all students received access to these tickets at the same time.

I realize there may be an explanation behind the choice to give certain students early access to Thanksgiving tickets, but the lack of communication leaves disadvantaged students enraged rather than understanding. Not a single email was sent out to Bennies about ticket purchase times. To the best of my
knowledge, the information was spread only by word of mouth.

Ticket purchasing should not have been kept secretive because of the limited number of seats available (1,600). Johnnie-Tommie tickets were also limited this year. The school made it very clear the number of tickets allotted by Target Field
before they went on sale. In such instances, it is important to be transparent about the likelihood that one may not receive a ticket.

With the lack of communication, frustrated students (particularly Bennies) do not know who to approach with their grievances. We are grateful to those who host the dinner. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a campus community and celebrate the blessings in our lives.

However, some students benefit from their involvement in certain campus activities or their gender identity to make the gracious gift a little easier to accept.

This is the opinion of Maya Hermerding, CSB senior