Under further review: One game in, BYU students react to new ROC pass procedures

Amid the excitement generated by BYU joining the Big 12 and fans counting down the days to return to the LaVell Edwards Stadium, controversy arose when the ROC announced a new system for football game entry in August.

Suddenly, a surefire way to show their devotion to the game and earn those coveted front row seats slipped away from seasoned BYU students and football fans.

Despite the backlash received from these changes, students put aside their misgivings and showed up to the stadium, eager to cheer on their team.

Wyatt Owen, Michael Jolley and Doug Dillard were the first three in line for the game against Sam Houston Saturday night. The three students showed up around 12 p.m. and noted that they were surprised to be first in line.

BYU students Wyatt Owen, Michael Jolley and Doug Dillard wait in line outside LaVell Edwards Stadium for the Cougars’ season opener against Sam Houston Sept. 2. (Abigail Westerby)

“We kept checking last night and this morning to see if anyone was going to camp,” Dillard said. “We were pretty bummed that we couldn’t camp out. Last year we camped out for three nights for the Arkansas game, so it’s nice we don’t have to go that extreme anymore, but it was still fun.”

Another group of students in line noted their complaints as well. After going through the new system, Elizabeth Ingersoll Smith found herself in a different group than her husband.

“I honestly hate it, but I’m happy I’m in group one today,” Smith said. “I totally camped out before and it’s sad that you can’t put in that kind of dedication to get to the front anymore.”

More BYU students wait in line prior to kickoff against Sam Houston. (Abigail Westerby)

However, those working the event had more positive reviews. Cora Hansen, who has worked with BYU Special Events for two seasons, commented on the safety the new system provides.

“I like the new process, its a lot safer for everyone,” Hansen said. “We are feeding the groups through slowly so ticket scanners aren’t getting trampled from running, so it’s significantly better.”

ROC board president Eden Blaser shared her perspective on the first implementation of the new system.

ROC president Eden Blaser greets fellow BYU fans prior to kickoff. (Abigail Westerby)

“It’s only been five minutes and students that haven’t been front row before are here and are super excited,” Blaser said. “It’s definitely giving more people the opportunity to get close to the front row that didn’t have it before.”

Blaser also pointed out the inaccuracy in labeling camping out and spending time at the stadium as proof of fan dedication.

“I think that the time you spend in line doesn’t determine how big of a fan you are,” Blaser said. “Most students don’t have time to camp out so this is much better for those who have less time.”

Despite the many petitions and comments rejecting the new ROC rules, the ROC section was filled for the Cougars’ clash with Sam Houston Saturday night. No matter what, BYU students will show up to cheer on their Cougars.

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