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Waitlists and VIPs

Tuesday, May. 27, 2014

**DISCLAIMER: All characters and scenarios in this post are fictional.**

Callie is the Senior Events Coordinator on her student government. She plans senior events throughout the year, but the biggest event is Senior Ball. Hosted each spring, the event includes a night of wine and dancing for 1,000 members of the senior class. Due to chaperone restrictions, venue requirements, and transportation issues, attendance cannot exceed 1,000 students. Each year, about 100 seniors who want to attend Senior Ball must be turned away.

This year, the number of seniors who could not get tickets is even greater. The event sold out in two hours, and the line to purchase tickets was wrapped around the block. Callie had to turn away many seniors, including a few of her close friends. As she goes through the list of attendees a few days before the event, Callie realizes that there were some errors in data entry and five tickets remain. Since there was no possibility of adding additional spaces, Callie did not create a waiting list. Callie immediately thinks of her friends. She knows that there are other seniors who desperately want tickets, but she could easily fill the spots from only her friend group. Callie wonders if she can just distribute the tickets to her friends. They really want to go, and she wants them to be there. Callie spent the last several months working on the event, and thinks she deserves to have all her friends there to share it with her.

She knows she could send an email to the senior class and create a waiting list, and draw names from the people who respond, but with only a few days before the event, Callie doesn’t feel that she has the time. She has to visit the venue, establish the set-up, confirm all the contracts and reservations, train volunteers for the event check-in, and make sure each participant has turned in the waivers. She knows that she’ll receive hundreds of responses about the tickets, and creating the waiting list will detract from her ability to prepare for a great event. For just five tickets, it doesn’t seem worth the extra work.

What would you do in Callie’s situation? Is it fair to give the few extra tickets to friends, without extending the opportunity further? Can you extend the benefits of your student government position to your friends? When does it go too far?

Useful Resources:

A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making

Photo by Joshua Ganderson available under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments Comments

K said on May 27, 2014
Because of a time constraint, Callie should do what she thinks is best. It would be one thing to have time and still decide to give it to her friends but she is not doing that. Also, in business it is said that who you know matters so by this philsophy her friends are allowed to reap the benefits of her employment. - Like - 2 people like this.
Justin D. Fitzsimmons said on Jun 11, 2014
Given the time constraint, I think it is best for the Callie and her work if she simply gives the tickets to her friends. Callie has a lot of work to do to make this event run smoothly. 5 extra tickets could cause a lot more problems than they are worth at this point. Also those that did not get tickets may raise their hopes of attending when they are already confined to the fact that they will not go. There is no point to raising their hopes for the sake of fairness. It would be best to give the tickets to her friends and be done with issue so that she put her best effort into the event. - Like - 2 people like this.
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Tags: character, college, college students, David DeCosse, decisions, ethics, friendship, honesty, party, responsibility, senior, student government, The Big Q