UT students will now be able to sit in groups of up to 250 thanks to Paige Atchley, newly elected vice president of the Student Government Association.
The change updates an old system that limited groups to 12 seats each.
“When we were making our policy … we started talking to students about what they wanted to be changed in the athletic realm of the university,” Atchley, a junior in marketing, said. “Time and time again, people told us that they didn’t really enjoy game day as much as they should because people would try to cram 30 people in that 12 person spot … that was something that we thought we could easily change if we talked to the right person.”
After Jeff Cathey, associate dean of students, mentioned a meeting of current SGA executives with UT ticketing officials, Atchley decided to tag along and ask if the maximum group size could be increased. “They said that it wasn’t any problem, that they did not foresee any issues, so they went ahead and changed it before we left,” she said.
She admitted her presence at the meeting was unexpected, but she was thrilled with the results.
"I did kind of crash it," Atchley laughed.
For senior in logistics Blake Cox, the change is long overdue. Cox has attended many home and away Vol football games and said the old system created a lot of confusion.
“When you go to games, people don't sit in their assigned seats,” he said. “You'd have people in your group that are spread out all over the place and people from other groups that are sitting in your seats.
“Every game that I've been to, there's always been some kind of altercation or argument about who is sitting in whose seats."
Cox said that in every other stadium he’s been to, large group seating was available. After a year that saw leftover student tickets in six of seven home games, Cox suspects the change will increase student attendance. He cited large student organizations, including Greek life, that will now be able to accommodate all of their members.
As a volquest.com reader, Cox has researched the history of group ticketing at UT and said that it’s been a long time since large groups of students could all sit together. He was impressed with the new SGA officials’ work."They did a great job, we haven't had Greek student seating since 1969,” he said.