Students design website to streamline graduation ticket transfers

Hackathon project turns into useful website

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To alleviate some of the stress University students are facing with the proposed changes to Final Exercises, a group of University students has created a website, TicketUni, to provide students a medium through which they can coordinate buying and selling extra tickets.

TicketUni was created by fourth-year Commerce student Anna Xie and College students Krystal Xu and Ke Cheng. The idea developed out of Xie’s need to find a fourth ticket to graduation. The University only allocated three tickets per student this year, and two of the proposed alternatives for how to proceed with Final Exercises during the Rotunda renovations would also limit student guest tickets to two.

“About three weekends ago, I was looking for my own tickets and decided we should have our own place,” Xie said.

The girls were able to create a prototype of the website during the 36-hour Hack.UVA Hackathon programming competition held two weeks ago. Xie was the site’s creator and designer, while Xu and Cheng, both computer science majors, wrote the code.

During the event TicketUni won “Best Use of SendGrid API.” They were also able to catch the eye of Edward Berger, associate dean for Engineering School undergraduate programs.

“We get questions in engineering all the time about potential ticket brokerage systems, both for Lawn tickets and for the diploma ceremony tickets here in SEAS,” Berger said. “I think it’s a great idea and could potentially be really useful.”

After receiving such positive feedback at the event, the students decided to move forward with the site and actually launch it.

“We wanted something that has real life applications that will be useful for U.Va students,” Xie said.

The team described the site as the Craigslist of graduation tickets, allowing students who have extras to advertise their availability. The site then verifies the student advertising the tickets is a member of the University. Students can decide themselves how much they will charge for each ticket, and each student can submit up to three tickets.

The website has already received traffic, with tickets selling for an average of $100.

“Some of our friends talked about it and I know there are people who have already sold tickets through it,” Xu said.

Though TicketUni easily allows students to obtain tickets, it does not handle the actual transfer of funds.

“We basically help connect people, but its up to the individual to find a time to meet and handle the transaction,” Xu said.

Right now, the team is focusing on getting the word out.

“People have been desperate for grad tickets and are willing to pay a lot,” Xie said.

There are hopes to expand TicketUni in the future, possibly even to other universities. Another goal is for it to be used at the University for other types of ticketing, such as sporting events and lectures.

The service will be open year-round for students to buy and sell graduation tickets, which could be especially useful for next year, as proposed changes to Final Exercises may further limit student ticket access.


Published April 24, 2014 in News



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