After Dean Johnson announced there would be no guest passes sold for Clam Jam 2023 following the incidents at Santa Con, I anxiously awaited to hear what this year’s Clam Jam would entail. On April 12, we finally received an email sharing all of the information.

For seniors, tickets will be $85 whereas juniors are set to pay $90 for one ticket. The price includes transportation to and from Penfield Beach, food, alcohol for those 21+ and entertainment by “Imanbek”.

For last year’s event, however, which included all of the same features, tickets were priced at $70 for seniors and $75 for junior students—a price I would be more willing to pay. But, due to the fact that the university is losing the usual guest pass revenue, tickets for 2023 saw a $15 increase.

Although I am not a senior and don’t have to pay for all of the upcoming, pricey senior week events, I still have a problem spending so much money on a school event—and for good reasons.

Firstly, since I am 20 years young during the time of the event, I can’t consume any of the alcohol that is included in my open-bar ticket price. Why isn’t there a separate, lower ticket cost for those who are underage and can’t take advantage of a large part of the price they’re paying?

As for transportation, our usual StagBuses will bring students back and forth to the beach. A location not too far off the path of the usual in-town drop-off. These buses are free to use for all students on a daily basis, so why would we pay for something that normally has no cost? More importantly, I believe there should already be free transportation if the school is providing alcohol to students—it’s just basic safety protocol. And, what about the seniors who live on the beach already and will walk over to the venue rather than using school-provided transportation? Is transportation included in their ticket price?

The food provided, and included in the price, will also be catered by our own university food supplier, Aramark. Certainly, they aren’t paying an additional, noticeable amount for this. The only fees would be paying the workers and for the food—payments they already spend every day.

Furthermore, while I’m sure our DJ will be a fun addition to the event, he is a no-name artist. To compare Clam Jam with our upcoming Fairfield University Student Association sponsored spring concert, students are paying only $55 for transportation to Bridgeport’s Hartford Healthcare Amphitheatre, a free meal from a food truck and a performance from an artist who is more well-known and enjoyed by the masses. This is a price that is worth it to me.

Even if the spring concert is sold at a loss for FUSA, I wholeheartedly believe that is what the university should do for Clam Jam anyway. The school profits so much off of our tuition, room and board, miscellaneous fees and more that students should not pay for the entire price—it should be a celebration for Fairfield students as an end-of-the-year event.

While I’m unsure of exactly how many tickets are sold for the event, if 400 people at minimum purchase a pass to attend, the University would receive approximately $35,000 (if half are seniors, and half are juniors). The only thing I can think of that are outlying factors that would cause a higher price would be security and building the stage for the artist—but even then, I’m certain both of those won’t add up to 30 grand. Are they even spending any money on us or are they breaking even with our ticket cost? Even more pressing, is the university profiting off of this event?

Unfortunately, because I have a very firm stance on attending every college event I can as it’ll always provide life-long memories, I will still be attending. However, I feel like I just got robbed out of $90 I could have spent on something more practical.

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