Rebecca Jordan, Staff Writer
This past summer, a projected three percent decrease in student enrollment caused the Student Senate to seriously consider their budget. “[The] senate gets funded by the student activities fee, so, obviously, if there are less students and less student activities fees being paid, we have less money,” Senate Treasurer Josiah Dillon said. “We thought, well, [increasing ticket prices] would be a good way to free up a lot of money.”
In past semesters, Regal Cinemas movie tickets have been available to students at $5 per ticket every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Student Senate has a $112,000 budget to spend on tickets from Regal this year, and Dillon said that typically anywhere from a quarter to a third of the tickets purchased by the senate remain unsold at the end of each academic year.
Tickets are bought in bulk and then sold to students at an additional discount. Over time, Regal has increased the prices of the passes from $6 each, when the program started, to $8.75 each now.
The Student Senate debated the pros and cons of increasing ticket prices from $5 to $6 for several weeks. As students who have already bought tickets this academic year know, the senate decided to keep the price at the $5 mark.
The senate rejected the price increase primarily because of the success of ticket sales. “We have something that everyone is so happy about and using, whereas we have a lot of things that we spend a lot of money on that don’t really get used by students. People love it,” said Dillon.
Another reason the increase did not go through was the fact that it is much easier to purchase tickets with a single bill, such as a $5 or a $10, instead of adding that extra dollar into the mix.
“I think it’s a nice break for students,” said Helen Schneider, a liberal arts student.
Molly Stenard, a math and science honors program student, said, “$5 per ticket is a good price, because if you make it much higher, it really doesn’t make it worth it. It would be easier to spend a few extra dollars at the actual movie theater.”
As for the 2016-2017 school year’s prices, Dillon plans on revisiting the cost next year in the senate. “We were projecting a decrease in enrollment, and because we didn’t see that, we’ll have a stronger argument this year to keep it at the $5, as long as Regal doesn’t up their prices for the tickets,” he said.