It’s been a little over two years since the TIC opened its gate in Lerner Hall Lobby. I have to admit that when I first arrived in January of ‘08 and took a tour of our little store front I never expected those two blank LCD screens to be full of such a variety of offerings. In my mind, coming straight from the performing arts world, we were a box office. That meant we’d sell discounted tickets to Broadway shows, Movie Vouchers and the variety of performing arts events on campus. My staff would work during the day, handle pre show ticketing for these events and be closed by curtain, around 9 pm. Simple.
Imagine my surprise when I received my first phone call from a student group who was throwing a party on a Saturday night until 2 am. And they wanted to sell the tickets through the TIC! At first my inner box office manager was shouting – “A Box Office that sells PARTY tickets and stays open until MIDNIGHT?!?” But then I thought, “Why not?” Why couldn’t a box office sell discounted tickets to Broadway, first run films, campus art events AND parties? That first student driven idea opened the door for campus merchandise sales, yearbook sales, and many, many more student run dances, parties and cultural shows, alongside the plethora of events produced by talented on campus arts organizations.
Two years later, as I watch my dedicated staff sell tickets to the GS Senior Cruise along side Madame Butterfly and CMTS’ production of Company, I eagerly await the next phone call or knock on my door from a student who wants to use the TIC in a completely different way. And what better time to look toward the future than now, when we are mere weeks away from Graduation, a time when everyone is contemplating what will be in store in the months and years to come? Even now the TIC has begun to test out a new Broadway Voucher program created after hearing “What happens to tickets that we don’t sell?” one too many times from my staff members. CUarts’ programs will continue to grow and serve the Columbia community, but input from you, the students, staff, faculty and alumni who use our services, will add the most important element, the “Why Not?” factor.