UT still tackling with student entry policies at Longhorn games
AUSTIN, Texas - It's the first home game for the Longhorns since LSU left the stadium and UT-Austin students had some new entrance policies to get through.
While the changes prevented safety concerns like those raised by students at the LSU game, not everyone was pleased with the new system.
Even with UT students pumped up about the Longhorn football season, fans noticed at Saturday’s kickoff there were two student sections mostly empty.
“There was a good chunk that was empty. People were still filing in,” said Issac Garcia, a freshman acting student who attended the game.
“I was sitting facing the south end zone and, to the left of where I was, there was just tons of open seats,” said Keston Wolf, a freshman business student and Big Ticket holder.
Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte responded to social media complaints saying the problem stemmed from students arriving late to the game, but students believe it's more likely changes to student entry policies that are the culprit. That's because, under the new rules, all students with the Big Ticket were told to enter through a single gate.
“I feel like for students it shouldn't have to take that long,” Wolf said.
“Because they crowded us all into Gate 31, it was this huge student line and I think that's probably what caused so much traffic. So if they had maybe opened like two or three more for the students then it would progress better,” said Garcia
However, the changes were made because opening more gates before the game versus LSU, with first come-first serve seats, led to a chaotic situation
“It was hectic; it was quite hectic. That's the best way to describe how that went down,” said Kobe Williams, also a freshman acting student.
“I think some student gates got checked, but ours, they just opened it and it was basically a stampede,” said Mac Jordan, a structural engineering student who also has a Big Ticket pass.
Students said when it comes to safety, the changes were noticeable, but UT Athletics didn't exactly score a touchdown either.
“I see why they did that, because, last time, every gate pretty much was open to everybody and it was just kind of everybody just rushed in. But it just took way too long I think and I think they could've done a better job,” Wolf said.
“There's room for improvement, but I think it worked better I think they could've used more than one gate like they could've used the line system at more than one, but it was better than just free for all,” said Jordan.
UT Athletics said they are still reviewing and may make changes to student entry policies again before the next home game against Kansas. For now, they said students should arrive to the stadium a little earlier.