Ticket Distribution Draws Hundreds
By Tim Haggerty Hoya Staff Writer
When students got into line on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to wait for tickets to see the Dalai Lama, they knew that the line would not move for hours. Indeed it did not. By Saturday afternoon, 150 students had received tickets, with some of these students waiting over twenty hours.
Seventy-five tickets were distributed at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and another 75 were distributed at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. The ticket distribution was handled by the Lecture Fund.
Jessica Vianes (COL ’99), president of the Lecture Fund, said that interest for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights Award Ceremony was the greater than any other program that she had seen. She said that she could only compare it to the Global Warming Conference held in October of 1997. Speakers at that conference included President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madeleine Albright.
Several students said that they thought that the interest was due to recent movies, such as “Seven Years in Tibet” and “Kundun,” based on the Dalai Lama.
Very few students had seen “Kundun” and even fewer had enjoyed “Seven Years in Tibet.”
Cassandra Doll (SFS ’02) said that she waited in line for about six hours on Thursday, and was about the 20th person in line. She said “you don’t get to see the reincarnation of the Buddha too often.”
No one questioned knew anything about the four Colombians that were being honored and no one said that they were going to see the busloads of Kennedy family members that were promised.
Assistant Director of the Department of Public Safety, William Nenichka said that no reports were filed as a result of line fighting, skipping or jumping in the “Dalai Lama line.” However, Vianes said that DPS did remove someone from the building after a line skipping incident.
On Thursday, a list was passed through the line, in an effort to establish order and make waiting easier, however, “the list,” as it came to be known, was declared invalid by the Lecture Fund by early afternoon, according to Vianes.
Vianes said that the list was started by someone at the beginning of the line, and sought to guarantee tickets for those who signed. However, it seemed succeptible to forgery and cheating, she said.
Vianes said that the earliest people arrived at 10:00 AM for Thursday evening tickets and at 1:00 PM on Friday for Saturday tickets.
Students made the most of the lines, fortunately. Some played games, slept, talked and worked. Others waited and looked at the walls.
On Friday evening, some students brought a TV and VCR into the line, and watched movies.