To the Editor:
The Yale Daily News has been very supportive of Yale’s Tercentennial celebrations, and we therefore regretted the editorial (“Getting a seat at the tercentennial table,” 4/5) regarding ticketing for the upcoming Alumni Leadership Convocation.
The April weekend is the sole Tercentennial event planned on campus to honor alumni service. Nevertheless, President Richard Levin and the Tercentennial Steering Committee made clear from the beginning that seats would be available for students for each and every program. Ticket availability has been publicized in three issues of this newspaper, including two news stories and the large advertisement that ran yesterday in the same issue as the editorial.
The students with whom we consulted suggested that e-mail would be the best method for spreading the word. They felt many Yale students might not see a poster or pick up pieces of paper in the common rooms. We therefore sent each undergraduate, graduate and professional student an individual message by e-mail.
This also seemed to us the best way to create significant word-of-mouth promotion: a simultaneous invitation to all 10,000 students to obtain immediate access to a complete description of every session along with a ticket request form.
We also sent the News a copy of the e-mail message and the Web site before we notified students, so that the newspaper could break the story as students were receiving the e-mails. We were puzzled that the Web link did not appear in either the story or the editorial, as we had hoped the News would help spread the word even further in this regard. With respect to the first wave of ticket promotion, we still hope that many more students will go to www.yale.edu/yale300/tickets to fill out and file a request by the end of today.
The editorial stated that only a “smattering of tickets” were available for “selected venues.” So far, students have requested over 1,700 seats in various sessions, and we expect we will be able to honor well over 90 percent of these requests. Further, every single one of the 52 sessions will have students attending.
We’d like to emphasize there are still more tickets available for students, as well as for Yale faculty and staff, in over 40 of the 52 sessions. We will operate a final rush ticket process Monday and Tuesday (April 16 and 17) announced again by e-mail and newspaper advertisement for the remaining tickets. These will be available to the first individuals who arrive to claim them.
In short, we look forward to having many students, as well as faculty and staff, join with our alumni for what we expect to be a memorable weekend of celebrating 300 years of creativity and discovery at Yale.
Janet Lindner and Jeff Brenzel
April 5, 2001
The authors are, respectively, director of the tercentennial and executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni.