On May 13 at 7:00 PM, 8,000 lucky ASU graduates and their families will be on hand at Sun Devil Stadium to hear Barack Obama's commencement speech. The whole ceremony is scheduled to last two and a half hours.
Sounds great, right? I certainly agree. I cannot wait to see President Obama speak at the most important moment of my life. But take a look at these time guidelines set forth by ASU:
Schedule of Arrival for Ticket-holders
Please review the information below to prepare yourself for entry into Sun Devil Stadium. The times listed are when graduates and guests should be in line to clear security, not arrival times at the stadium. You should plan your schedule accordingly to allow plenty of time for travel to the stadium, parking and walking to the security check points. For a list of permitted and prohibited items, please view this announcement.
2:30 p.m. Gates open
2:30 p.m. Sections 4-14 arrive
3:00 p.m. Bachelor's graduates enter through north gate to field along with Sections 201-220 of the upper deck
3:30 p.m. Master's graduates arrive on field along with Sections 23-33 along with the loge
4:00 p.m. J.D. and doctorates arrive on field along with Sections 221-247
4:30 p.m. Other ticket-holders arrive
The amount of time that security has requested, and the vast list of items it has chosen to prohibit, are both burdensome and irritating.
The high temperature in mid-May is usually around 90-96. The sheet that I was given at the ticket booth implies that commencement goers will not be allowed to bring in any water bottles, including clear plastic ones (initially it seems as though they were allowed, but that section has been blacked out).
My favorite: no foods that can be used as projectiles (such as apples, oranges, or pears).
I hope no one has to go to the hospital (or worse) due to these rules. I also hope ASU has many free water facilities inside the stadium. I would like a few bottles of free Dasani, thank you.
All in all, if guests arrive at 2:30 pm like is requested by ASU, they will be on hand for 7 full hours in an unforgiving outdoor arena, with uncomfortable bench seats and very warm weather.
When did security become more important than the safety and comfort of the citizens? I would like a detailed account from ASU President Michael Crow as to why this situation has to be played out in the least enjoyable manner possible.