Lottery survey results split student body



Jessica May

While many die-hard Wildcats have been filling their coolers and dusting off their outdoor equipment throughout the past week in preparation for the Friday camp-out, some are still bitter about the new SGA lottery system, featuring a grueling 18-hour camp-out that rewards the first 800 attendees. 

Described by many students as a general inconvenience and potential breeding-ground for a night of drunken pandemonium, the camp-out leaves many wondering whether or not the solution was the best decision after all.

In a survey, a sophomore biology major said the camp-out atmosphere would lend itself to students attending inebriated, possibly to the point of sickness.

“The camp-out is a bad idea,” the survey respondent said. “It will be too cold, people will get drunk and it will be a big mess. It will cause more trouble than it’s worth.”

Though the survey of 205 students provided mixed reactions, the seniors displayed the most aversion toward the new system. Many feel the system is unfair to them since most live off campus and may have other commitments on that particular night.

One senior expressed bitter feelings toward the camp-out concept, calling those who attend tomorrow, “People who have nothing better to do than waste their time on a camp-out.”

Respondents recognized the faulty aspects of last year’s weighted system. However, the new lottery appears to have incited even more controversy on campus. Students criticized SGA’s limited resources throughout the process.

Also, little praise was given to SGA for its handling of the situation, as only 38 percent of respondents said SGA dealt with the situation well. 

Respondents said that instead of instantly rejecting the idea of a small, flat rate to enter the lottery, SGA should have consulted students first.

“They should have offered students the chance to give feedback for the option,” one respondent said.

Forty-nine percent of those surveyed were willing to pay $10-15 to enter the lottery, while 34 percent of students said that they would not be willing to pay the fee.

“$10 really isn’t too much for a student to pay, and if it would’ve kept the weighted system, [SGA] should’ve done it,” another respondent said. “Or they should have at least asked students what they thought.”

Several of those who would not be willing to pay said they felt that with such a high tuition, the school should cover students’ entry fee for the basketball lottery.

The 2,800-plus students who responded to an SGA survey in late October were split on the choice between a camp-out and random lottery. 

Have opinions changed since the implementation of the newly-structured system?

Survey says no.

Overall, the reaction to the new lottery was mixed, with 41.5 percent of those surveyed responding negatively toward the new lottery, while another 41.5 percent were still deciding. Only 17 percent of students said they liked this new system. 

One respondent who did not like the concept of the lottery was quick to offer a creative alternative.

He said that if SGA made the creation of the new lottery system a project for engineering students and offered incentives, many would be willing and able to do it.

“Have computer science or computer engineers rebuild the weighted lottery,” the respondent said. “Make it a class project and give them half the money it would have cost to do it professionally.”

SGA mentioned in an interview that an idea similar to this, potentially involving the Department of Computer Sciences and UNIT, was being considered for the future.

The only survey question that resulted in an overwhelmingly one-sided response concerned the issue of the return of the weighted lottery. 

Nearly 70 percent of students want the weighted lottery system back – just in a different form.