Last Saturday, August 30, was one of those days that many students at major colleges circle on their calendar. It’s the first day of the 2008 college football season for most, and a day that students look forward to all summer long. Unfortunately for many Penn State students, they left the Nittany Lions game frustrated over being forced to miss the beginning of the game because of the school’s new ticket policy.

Next season Penn State will be going completely paperless in their ticketing operations for students, storing the students tickets on their school ID. For this season, in order to acclimate students with the new system, the school had students go through multiple checkpoints to both swipe their IDs as well as show their ticket. Using this system for the first time caused disorganization, and long lines to get into the stadium.

“From people I talked to, it sounded like anyone who wasn’t there 30-40 minutes ahead of time missed kickoff,” Paul Nordeman, a columnist for Penn State school paper The Daily Collegian, told TicketNews. He along with hundreds of other students missed a good portion of the first half of Penn State’s 66-10 blowout win over Coastal Carolina.

The new system was put in place to eliminate the scalping of student tickets to non-students, while making the ticket process more efficient. The school’s athletic department feels like it is a step in the right direction.

“I think there are a number of advantages to it,” Penn State Associate Athletic Director Greg Myford said to local television station WTAJ. “It allows the students to manage their own tickets on their own time. They’ll still be able to sell tickets to other students if they want to.”

Nordeman, as well as other Penn State students, are in favor of the new system, just not the way the school tested it out during this season’s home games.

“The new system that will be put in place actually sounds very good, at least in theory. It addresses many of the concerns students had over tickets in the past. My problem is the fact that they are using this year’s class as guinea pigs,” he said. “Most students are annoyed by the long waits but will probably be satisfied once an online system comes into place next year.”

He hopes that the school will improve the experience this Saturday, when the Nittany Lions welcome the Oregon State Beavers to Happy Valley. It will be a much tougher match-up and a lot closer of game than last weeks, if students are once again held up in line at the gate, the roar of the Nittany Lion student body may get louder.

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Last Updated on September 5, 2008