Since last year’s surprise performance by 50 Cent and Tony Yayo at Hoops Mania, the buildup to this year’s event generated a monumental amount of anticipation within the student body and the Villanova community.

The rumors surrounding this year’s special guest were a topic of conversation around campus and particularly throughout the line of excited students that started gathering outside the Pavilion a 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon. As a sad anti-climax to the hype, nearly half of the students assembled were left outside in the pouring rain after being denied entry.

Adding insult to injury, a large number of nonstudents and community members were granted admission before members of the student body. As students realized there was an increasing chance they would not be allowed to enter the building, the crowd surged forward, knocking people into the mud.

After being denied entry, students then made use of athletic entrances around the Pavilion. Additionally, a noticeable portion of seats within the student section was left empty even after security stopped allowing students to enter.

Events like Hoops Mania are a memorable part of the college experience at Villanova. With all that Villanova students give back to the outside community, there’s no reason that students should be unable to participate in events within their own community.

As Villanova’s athletic and academic achievements gain more attention on a national scale, our community risks losing focus on what truly matters for the future prosperity of the University. While the influence of alumni and the surrounding community has an importance to Villanova’s identity and history, the University’s focus should be on the students’ best interests, not the entertainment of non-students.

Villanova’s success in the future is entirely dependent on the hard work, dedication and passion of the current members of the student body. As we head into Special Olympics weekend, the achievements and successes of our fellow classmates will shine just as brightly as those of the athletes who visit our campus. Given the effort put into academics and extracurricular activities, students have every right to share in the excitement of other events like Hoops Mania.

While the events surrounding Friday night’s disappointing treatment of the student body are obviously substandard, current students have proved their commitment to the aspects of Villanova that have strengthened our community. Provided that this dedication continues, the future of the University’s national reputation is bound to expand. Without it, Villanova risks losing its grasp on what defines us as a community.