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Thinking about selling your Duke ticket? Think again.

UNC/Duke Student Section

Students cheer on the UNC men’s basketball team from the risers in the Smith Center during the game against Duke on March 4, 2017.

When many students imagine University policy violations, they envision plagiarism and cheating on tests. But there are atypical violations too, such as selling student basketball tickets.

Despite being a violation of University policy, some students still flocked to Facebook to sell their UNC-Duke tickets or trade into a different phase.

One anonymous senior, who sold her ticket for $130, felt the benefits outweighed the costs. She had bought a ticket online before and only knew one person who had been caught for the violation. She said that she thought the consequences were lenient.

“I just never heard of it affecting anyone before,” she said. “If I knew that there was a small percent chance that I would get in trouble, then I probably wouldn't have done it. But I had done it previously.”

Director of Student Conduct Aisha Pridgen said her office takes all reports of alleged misconduct seriously, including selling student tickets.

Violating a University policy can also be a violation of the Honor Code, said Jacob Friedman, who serves as the Undergraduate Student Attorney General. Friedman said a report of these violations would begin his typical investigation process and lead to a charge decision with varying consequences.

“I make the charge decision based on A) whether there's a reasonable basis in terms of ethics in particular to believe the student violated the Honor Code and then B) whether a University interest exists in pursuing the case,” Friedman said. “If both of those things were there, they would be charged and then referred to an Honor Court jury.”

An anonymous first-year posted in a Facebook group to give her ticket away at no cost. She said she found out that selling tickets violated the Honor Code a few months ago, but still, she is the only person she knows who decided to give away her ticket for free.

“Honestly, I don't need money for a piece of paper,” she said. “It's a ticket. I know somebody definitely would enjoy it more than I would just because I'm not huge into crowds and loud settings. Plus, Honor Court just scares me. I've heard horror stories of people getting perfect scores on the MCAT and then because they went to Honor Court once, they're like, 'Nope. Can't get into med school now.'”

But for the senior, the only consequence she is aware of for students who sold tickets came from a shared email on a Facebook group, which detailed a punishment consisting of voided tickets and an inability to enter the ticket lottery again.

“I just figured that it wasn't that big of a cost,” she said. “According to the email, it says that you wouldn't be able to enter the lottery anymore, your tickets would be voided. Because I'm a senior, I just don't see that as a risk.”

One student on Facebook attempting to sell his ticket was unaware that this violated the Honor Code. Friedman said that might be the case for many students. 

“I would recommend students try to learn University policies as best they can and to do their best to follow in any case, and I know that there are a lot of University policies, but most of them are posted online and posted elsewhere,” Friedman said.

The first-year does not believe the Office of Student Conduct can catch all or most of the students breaking this part of the Code, but still chose not to request money for her ticket.

“Most people are definitely charging for them, and I'm not going to feel good about myself if I take $100 from somebody,” she said.

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