Eye on Education

Ohio State Seniors Unhappy that Obama Commencement Address Means Fewer Tickets for Families, Friends

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President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at Miami Dade College in 2011.

Some Ohio State University seniors are unhappy they’ll receive just four tickets for the school’s commencement ceremony this spring, in part because President Barack Obama will give the commencement address at Ohio Stadium.

“Obama does NOT take precedence over MY family at MY graduation!” one student wrote on Ohio State’s Facebook page.

Nearly 400 people have already signed an online petition asking Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee to increase the number of guest tickets available. (Graduates will not need tickets for the ceremony.)

Offers to buy extra tickets are already flooding the Class of 2013′s Facebook page, along with a few offers of tickets for sale.

Ohio State says security measures for Obama’s visit as well as stadium renovations and a larger than usual graduating class were factors in setting the ticket limit. The university is “extremely hopeful” that additional tickets will become available later this spring after the initial round of tickets have been distributed.

Few other big state schools — including Michigan State, Texas A&M and Penn State universities — require tickets for university-wide commencement ceremonies. Neither Ohio University or Miami University of Ohio will require tickets for guests at commencement ceremonies.

When Obama gave the commencement address at Miami Dade College last year, students received only two guest tickets.

Obama officially kicked off his presidential campaign at Ohio State in May and made 22 visits to Ohio in 2012.

One Ohio State student told the school’s student newspaper that she’s seen enough of Obama already:

“But as much as I’m excited, I wish OSU would have picked a politically neutral person to speak. He’s been to Ohio State seven or eight times in the past year and everyone’s gotten their dose of him.”


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