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Vanderbilt University has come up with a new idea to “stop the spread” of the Omicron variant that doesn’t involve canceling athletic events.
And it’s the most nonsensical idea yet.
Vandy Hustler Sports’ Justin Hershey reports that students will not be permitted to claim their free ticket to attend the next five men’s and women’s basketball games combined through Jan. 24. The lunacy in all this, however, is that the general public will still be allowed to attend as Memorial Gymnasium will continue to operate at 100% capacity.
Yes, you read that right. No students allowed, but general public, come on in! Making matters worse, Vanderbilt reportedly sent an email to basketball season ticket holders saying that student section tickets will be sold for the five games students can’t attend.
Tickets in sections H and I, usually reserved for students, are going for $100-200 a pop on StubHub for Vanderbilt men’s basketball against Kentucky on Tuesday. Season ticket holders were the only ones permitted to buy the student section tickets, for $20. Despite the university saying they were not available for resale, most are available on the secondary market.
The new guidelines come down as Vanderbilt is set to welcome students back for the spring 2022 semester on Jan. 18.
“Students must not participate in gatherings of any size or engage in in-person social interactions with anyone other than their roommates/housemates,” the university said. “This includes attendance at athletic events. Student organization and other sponsored travel will not be permitted in January, and all planned trips during the month will be canceled; the only exception is pre-approved undergraduate study abroad.”
Hershey, who is also a Vanderbilt student, notes that students are already required to be vaccinated and are subject to regular testing if they haven’t received a booster shot. That raises the question: how is the general public deemed safer than the students?
“If restricting student attendance in Memorial Gym was truly a community health decision, then I wonder why Vanderbilt still allows all members of society to attend our basketball games,” Hershey wrote. “How is the university choosing who is safe to attend a game?”
We’re all wondering the same thing.
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