In preparation for Senator Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) arrival at Hopkins on Nov. 17, the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium (MSE) and the Foreign Affairs Symposium (FAS) announced that attendees must reserve the free tickets in advance. Students, faculty, staff and the general public will to be able to reserve tickets this Sunday Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.
Anyone unable to reserve a ticket can watch the event live-streamed in Hodson 110. Members of both audience halls will receive a copy of Sanders’ book, “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.”
The event will feature a 45 minute talk from Sanders, followed by a 15 to 20 minute Q&A session moderated by University President Ronald J. Daniels. Questions will be screened beforehand, but audience members will have the opportunity to write them down on index cards at the event.
In previous years, both MSE and FAS events have been first-come, first-served. However, for this event MSE and FAS advisor Tiffany Sanchez, associate dean for student engagement, insisted on implementing a ticketing system.
MSE Programming Chair Teddy Kupfer initially thought the event would run like previous events held by MSE or FAS. But, he explained some of the administration’s concerns.
“The administration felt that there were some concerns about crowd control, some security things that they thought a ticketing process would be better. We felt compelled to make sure that tickets were free so that we can preserve some of the ethos of the MSE and FAS events,” Kupfer said. “We feel like the free nature of the tickets is working toward that middle ground, but ultimately the school was pretty insistent that we ticket out all of Shriver.”
Tim Shieh, one of the three FAS executive directors, explained that the administration’s concerns were based on the high-levels of interest garnered both at Hopkins and in the Baltimore community after they announced the event. Shieh elaborated that their main concern focused around security for the event and safety for students, Sanders and his staff.
“We were a little bit surprised, especially given the fact that… we’ve done very high profile events in the past,” Shieh said. “We were surprised, [but] we’ve acknowledged the fact that the potential for risk is there and that having a safeguard against that, through the ticketing system, would be best.”
Kupfer similarly addressed that the administration has not historically been involved in how MSE runs their events.
“Normally we get to run the logistics of our events as we see fit. When Ron Paul came — that was my freshman year before I was on the Symposium — but I distinctly remember there being a line through the entire quad. There was no ticketing or anything,” Kupfer said. “We are run by students, and we depend on finances from certain parts of the administration… The concerns of the school make sense, given the high-profile nature of the event, but then again we have run other high profile events and so has FAS.”
Both Shieh and Kupfer addressed the concern that tickets might be resold and that a black market may develop. Tickets will be scanned at the door, and when a ticket is bought online the buyer will have to provide their name and email address. He mentioned that staff reserve the right to check IDs.
“The creation of a secondary market is something that we had a concern about as well, but the school advised us that it wasn’t something we should worry about,” Kupfer said.
Neither Kupfer nor Shieh thought this would set a precedent for how future MSE or FAS events would run.
“It’s A — a one time thing, and B — we were able to preserve the basic ethos of free and open to the public,” Kupfer said. “I think it would behoove the school to recognize that we run our events fairly competently. This arrangement isn’t really an adversarial one, it’s just one where people from the administration have run things a certain way. They’ve been doing things longer than we have.”