Sun God Guest Tickets to be Eliminated


In a preliminary report of potential changes to the Sun God Festival, the Sun God Festival Task Force announced that guest tickets would be eliminated for the upcoming event in May 2014. There was no mention of eliminating alumni tickets.

The no-guest policy comes after the 2013 Sun God Festival saw a 46-percent rise in drug- and alcohol-related detox visits, a 129-percent rise in medical transports, a 55-percent rise in student conduct violations and a 54-percent rise in arrests compared to the 2012 festival.

“Sun God 2014 almost didn’t happen, and Sun God 2015 is far, far from guaranteed,” A.S. Concerts and Events Festivals Director Andrea Hsueh said.

According to the report, non-student guests account for over one third of those admitted to detox facilities. Guest tickets, which sold for $65, accounted for 3,000 of the roughly 20,000 people who attended Sun God in 2013.

“The 3,000 [non-student guests] at the festival last year represented a disproportionate amount of risks,” A.S. Associate Vice President of Concerts and Events Sarah Harley said.  We believe the elimination [of guest tickets] will help to reduce these risks.”

The Sun God Task Force was established in September to respond to the rises in health and safety problems in 2013. The task force’s report offers ways to reduce heavy drinking and student detainments at the event.

“We find ourselves in a position where we have exhausted all of our resources in terms of police, staffing, security, and medical assistance, and we’re at the point where we’re reaching unsustainable,” Hsueh said. “We’re taking the first step so something doesn’t happen, so that we have a Sun God.”

Other suggestions included in the report are altering the wristbands to make them more difficult to remove and checking student IDs upon entry.

“All of our decisions were made with health and safety as the biggest concern,” A.S. President Andy Buselt said. “It’s going to enable us to have a festival that’s more student-centered than ever before.”

The task force also plans to make use of a campuswide survey, emailed out by ASCE, to gauge students’ priorities with regard to the event.

 “We’re going to rely a lot on student input,” Hsueh said. “We want to be able to collaborate and work more closely with our peers […] to discuss the issues at hand and what we can do to solve them.”

71 thoughts on “Sun God Guest Tickets to be Eliminated

  1. The following time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I do know it was my option to learn, but I really thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix for those who werent too busy looking for attention.

  2. Oh no, we must not tarnish the school’s reputation. Freshmen and other underage students drink all the time on campus. They just get written up and maybe talk to the dean. If anything, they should make them spend a night in county jail, sun god or not.

  3. “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” ―Princess Leia

    Also, how about this for an idea – break Sun God into two smaller (but still large) events with the same setup from last year. If it wasn’t the one day of the year that UCSD students felt like they could have fun, maybe they wouldn’t go so crazy?

    1. ^^^ THANK YOU!!!! I’ve been saying this all along. The reason why people get so crazy at Sun God is because it’s the only big event of the year, so everyone feels like they have to go HAM to make the most of it, and consequently go overboard.
      You don’t see this kind of behavior at Bear Garden, where they serve FREE BEER on campus, partly because it’s once a month, and partly because security is much better. Also, being able to control the alcohol makes it a lot less likely for people to abuse it. At any real festival like Coachella, EDC, etc. they have beer gardens where they can serve drinks in a controlled and contained environment, and people don’t feel like they have to chug a handle of Smirnoff before they head to campus so that it will last them all day…
      I think that a combination of smarter security (pat downs and bag checks), combined with controlled alcohol sales, would calm down the Sun God ragers, and more events like this throughout the year would help teach students to handle their shit…

  4. So they manage to lose close to $200,000 in revenue from the 3000 guest tickets they would have sold at $65 each. That seems smart for a school that continues to have budget issues.

    Even worse is that this will happen unopposed – if this happened at UC Berkeley, you could bet there would be protests against this kind of heavy handed approach that UCSD is so well known for. But there is no school spirit at UCSD, only an apathy on the part of its students as the campus continues to ruin the few remaining events that bring the campus together.

    College students are adults. The only reason Sun God gets so crazy is because UCSD prevents these adults from learning how to drink safely and responsibly by implementing measures like these.

    Glad this is my last year here, they can bet there won’t be any alumni donations from me.

  5. UCSD is ending all fun on campus. They did away with fall fest and now they are going after sun god. They knew they couldn’t get rid of sun god without causing controversy so they decided to do it slowly. Wake up UCSD this is all BS. As a former student and one who has been to many sun gods I can tell you that this is a slippery slope. DO NOT STAND FOR THIS! Our tuition keeps going up and up and the value of what we pay for keeps going down and down! They keep hiring terrible professors nobody can understand, closing down libraries, not funding events, and killing any school spirit we have. Even though I am no longer a student at UCSD it hurts me to see my school go down like this.

  6. Please please please do not eliminate the guest tickets. SGF is consider to be the one day where everyone can have a good time and party with their friends all day. Friends, not limiting to just their school friends. Plus, why should the school directly point fingers towards the guests for inappropriate causes of actions. Thats just wrong….

  7. I don’t understand the logic here. We pay student activities fees every quarter just for events like these, yet the blame is shifted to the students because SG is “free” for us. Nevermind the fact that we pay student activities fees every quarter just for events like these. Yes, we understand that it doesn’t full cover the cost of the whole event but we DO technically pay for it. Now, why would you eliminate guest tickets if 3,000 sold at $65 a piece would help provide for more EMT on hand or more security? Why complain about the lack of funding when AS is cutting a big source of the earnings that could clearly help pay for better safety for our students? Okay, if admin is going to reimburse AS for the funding that they lose due to the elimination of the guest tickets, where is this money coming from? It seems as if they readily have money on hand for this policy change. If so, why haven’t they used that money to give us students the safe environment that we need in the first place?

    Also, does the Task Force have the numbers for the attendees of the event over the years? Really, the only reason to eliminate these tickets is because of the increase of hospital transports, etc. Yet, compared to 2007 the numbers from 2013 are much much much lower. A small spike in these incidents causes such a controversial policy change, but can be explained if there were more attendees over the years.

    The solution to this shouldn’t be to eliminate guests tickets, but more so raise awareness and educate. Punishing students with this new policy only creates more animosity and, honestly, does nothing for our school spirit (in light of what happened to Graffiti Hall).

  8. Honestly I think a simple and easy way to mitigate the problem would be to invest in better wristbands (RFID tags, better design, etc.). Why? I can’t tell you how many UCSD students I know who invited multiple guests from out of town without even bothering to buy a guest ticket because they knew they could just slip off the wrist band and essentially get as many people they wanted to into the concert for free. Obviously it’s impossible to get a number for how many non UCSD students entered without tickets but I’d be willing to bet that this played a huge role in the overcrowding and influx of non UCSD students (and therefore incidents). Being able to plan and account for guests if there were a better way of controlling how many guests came as opposed to eliminating the guest option altogether seems like a smarter way to do things.

  9. I’d just like to comment on the recent developments involving the banning of guest attendees to Sun God. I think instead of banning all guests, whether or not they represent a disproportionate amount of illicit and dangerous behavior at Sun God and consume more safety and security resources as a result, we should instead make the students who bring these guests over more responsible for their actions. As in, if a student chooses to bring someone from off of campus to Sun God, there should be a policy in place where if that guest misbehaves (ex. goes to the hospital, detox or jail as a result of improper conduct), the student who sponsored that guest will receive some sort of punishment.

    The punishment could vary to the degree of the offense. For instance, if the guest has to go to the detox center for consuming alcohol, that’s a relatively minor action, and deserves a lesser consequence, which could range from a warning for a first offense (on the actual part of the student), to expulsion from the Sun God event that year of both the student and all of their guests, if it’s still ongoing (or the next if it’s not), to a fine that covers the costs of whatever resources were consumed by the guest’s action. If it’s a more severe infraction, like a violent crime, bringing caught with hardcore drugs, endangering the livelihood, health or safety or multiple people, severely disrupting the event (like jumping on stage and breaking a band’s sound equipment), or bringing a weapon, then the punishment should be either something like immediate suspension, expulsion, revocation of a degree, or jail in addition to lesser punishments that could also be applied. Basically, the idea is to make sure the student knows there are SEVERE consequences to be had should whomever they choose to bring misbehave.

    The implementation of this system could be very simple. To get a ticket, a student must register the name of their guest(s) and their own, and the guest’s ticket will have their information on their own ticket. The guest’s information will be associated with whomever their student host is. Should they get into trouble at Sun God, the student will be notified in person if available and nearby, or through their school email, informing them of the consequences and whatever procedures they must go through as a result or to contest the incident. The guest will then be dealt with in whatever manner is appropriate and that will be the end of things.

    I believe that this ensures, in part, that students will bring only people they can trust to the event, which will bring the statistics of bad guest behavior down to around the same level as students. It’s likely that any student who would choose to ignore the kinds of consequences above would be hard to deter from having a negative influence on the event otherwise, so there still may be a higher proportion of guests to students that misbehave depending on how social those kinds of students are. Besides that, I believe that it would be hard to reduce the costs in resources and safety of students over the entire campus during Sun God anyway even if there’s a ban on guest tickets. Students and their friends usually do more during Sun God than go down to view the concerts and dance or eat at the stands. The kind of behavior witnessed at the event itself occurs all over UCSD while it’s going on – drinking, recreational drug use, listening to music, and various other activities likely happen in the privacy of dorms and other areas just as or almost as much as on the field itself. So banning guest tickets doesn’t ban the guests per se, unless there are road blocks installed, which only costs the school more resources.

    Overall, I feel that the ideas I’ve presented regarding making students more responsible for their guests seems to be a much better alternative than getting rid of the additional ticket revenue and “fun” of the event enjoyed by students who bring friends from outside the school over. Not only does getting rid of guest tickets not address half of the problem of guest misbehavior all over campus, but it has other costs which need not be incurred.

  10. Nothing is going to stop students from getting shit faced drunk. Last year i saw way too many crazy, open parties on campus. Security needs to be enforced to calm that partying down in order to help prevent students from getting alcohol poisoning. But even that won’t be enough. Unless students calm down and avoid getting shit faced, Sun God is going to meet its end.

  11. Wow, first the problems with the shuttle, then the ill-conceived smoking ban, the absolution of the graffiti hall, and now no more guests for a Sun God that almost didn’t happen.

    Glad I got out last year.

  12. Lmao this is about as thought through as the smoking ban. Eliminating guest tickets won’t eliminate non-student guests. People give away and sell their bracelets every single year. Instead of AS getting the $65 per bracelet, individual students will get $100. With the budget being all screwed up this year, you’d think AS would want that money.

    And having the president of one club represented at voting is hardly representative of the student body.

    Work on fixing this transportation fuckery before one of these overcrowded shuttles flips over and ucsd makes national news. And please, put real thought into resolving that problem.

  13. From a school spirit standpoint, this is a win. Sun God should be for Tritons! Step outside your comfort zone and make some friends on campus who will go with you to the festival. It sucks that Alumni can’t go, but they’ll get over it.

    1. You’ve never gone to any other school’s event before? Another school’s party? Concert? Sports game?

      Come on. I go to a different UC and I’ve wanted to visit SD and see your guys’ Sun God. From a school spirit standpoint, this is a loss lol. You guys have built a rep for Sun God and I’ve been wanting to go. With Sun God, you guys got a name out there, at least to SoCal.

      Closing it off is not a win at all. If you have something with a great rep, closing it off makes no sense at all. If you’re going to talk about school spirit, you should be proud to have this on your campus and be proud to share the rep it has created for your school.

      Instead, you consider closing it off and limiting it to SD students a “win”. Not really any win for school spirit.

  14. at other universities mofos be getting drunk every weekend at football games and here they are bitching about ONE DAY that everyone goes wreckless… I believe that the university is looking for any excuse to give sungod money to research and leave student life last in the list… and for those of you who say sungod needs to be safer… what do you care you are safe is not like a drunkie or druggie is going to go stab you… the university just wants to get rid of the festival to eliminate a threat of bad reputation and liability for the school… ot fair for the students

  15. As a non UCSD student I think its ludicrous for the university to eliminate guest tickets. The problem with Sun God is the security! When I attented the festival last year security checks were less than even a check at all. No pat downs, bag opening, not much of any search at all. That’s what needs to be fixed not eliminating guest tickets.

    1. I mean, you could bring in TSA specialists, but people will complain about invasive security then. It’s surprising how much hate student government is getting for this decision. I guess that’s always the case with politics: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      1. No, not necessarily. At almost any EDM event security is just as Zach described. A pat down, opening your bag, sometimes checking jacket pockets and other pockets. I haven’t heard too many complaints. This seems like a pretty standard security check for me.

        This won’t solve everything, but my main point is that it’s not that invasive.

  16. Honestly though, the type of music they played at SunGod last year essentially promoted this drug use… People who go to Electronic Music festivals always use drugs for more entertainment… I would suggest changing the music genre (to something like popular music) if UCSD doesn’t want to see a rise in drug use.

  17. Honestly, with or without guest tickets, people are still going to drink just as much. Guests, UCSD students, whatever. I’m willing to bet that the number of people getting caught up will end up being roughly the same as last years, but more of those numbers will just consist of people who happen to go to UCSD. I’m really upset about this and I hope that this policy is reconsidered. Personally, I love involving my friends from outside of campus in this event because I feel like it’s the one BIG event that we really have to show for. Other things occur during the year, but Sungod is the one thing we’re really, really known for.

    1. But how do you account for the fact that non students are vastly overrepresented in detox and arrest events? If the proportion of student violations stays roughly constant (and there is not reason to expect that it would change) then the overall violation rate will go down. The only way you could argue that the numbers would stay the same is if the average student violation rate went up. Do you have a reason to believe this is the case?

      1. Because students have dorms/apartments to go hide in while they throw up with their friends? Just because students aren’t in medical detox at the event doesn’t mean they aren’t drinking as much and as sick as non students. If students could just know their limits, and not act like assholes this wouldn’t be a problem.

  18. Wow, task force members, you are all a bunch of useless idiots. How do these numbers compare to the number of arrests, detoxes, etc. at other colleges? I’m willing to bet that these instances occur way less at our school then, say, SDSU. You are so damn determined to uphold our socially dead reputation, aren’t you?

    1. May be that’s the exact reason why they are eliminating guest tickets – to prevent narcotics from other colleges. Being safe is not a socially dead reputation, there are more to life after the 4 years… EDC?

  19. Christ everyone calm down. Get your friends together and plan a trip to Vegas or your local concert venue and go see some real talent. Sun god, the only semi-decent ucsd social event of the year is not even that cool. The hype that surrounds it is even more annoying. Everyone needs to step out of Geisel for just one second and realize there is more to the social scene than sun god and stop cussing out your ucsd administration for doing their job.

  20. actually, everyone should just pay for sun god. everyone gets guest tickets

    students 45
    guests 80

    kanye headlines festival?

    1. You have to understand that students already pay for Sun God, it’s not free. Just because it is lumped into a “Student Fees” fund, doesn’t mean that we don’t pay for it.

  21. i understand no guest tickets, whatever i’m fine with that, but last year there was no guarantee that every UCSD student can get a ticket. So does that mean that more student tickets will be available? Its not fair that everyone pays for the event, but not everyone can go. Also, what about those (like myself)who are done this quarter and still want to go to Sun God but cant make it the Thursday before, or maybe even Friday to get my ticket i already paid for in tuition because i will be living back home?

    Also, to those who just say to better security; it cost more money to better security so that would make is more likely to have a not so good line up. Id rather have a good line up and less people. I care about the safety of others but it is not the task forces responsibility to make sure people aren’t doing drugs or underage drinking. Maybe security should do more pat downs and have wand detectors and that’s it. But we are in college and should be able to take responsibility for our own actions and the actions of our guests. Its not their fault a majority of the students here don’t party and when they do, its on Sun God and they don’t know their limits. Its our own fault for letting stuff like this happen.

    1. The tickets that were guest tickets will now be for students. I can’t tell you anything about a ticket guarantee since there are about 25,000 students and about 20,000 tickets some people don’t get tickets. The amount of money going to sungod from you paying your tuition is not very high. The student activity fee is where sungod money comes from but that student activity fee also pays for student orgs, AS as well as a number of different services. So just because you paid tuition doesn’t mean Sungod is completely covered- just something to keep in mind

      The task force doesn’t want to ban drinking. Basically its our goal to reduce risky behavior, reduce medical transports, and assaults that happen as a result of binge drinking.

  22. @ Scott: Those are good ideas. Sure, it’s fun to go wild during Sun God, but there are some sensibilities like “Don’t kill yourself or your friends” that should still be honored.

    @ Dee: The twelve task force members don’t immediately strike me as a representative sampling for the other 19988+ who will be affected. This is similar to the D1 debate a while ago where many in the student government allowed themselves to be bullied by the administration and proceeded pathetically to garner support for a stupid, selfish idea. But alas, when it came to a vote, true colors shone. Until you have something with any semblance to a public forum or vote, 12 is not gonna cut it.

    @ Liza: Them exclamation marks aren’t fooling anybody, honey. Before you tell people to look at the numbers, you need to tell them where they can find it instead of accusing them for being outraged (which they have damn good reason to be). Besides, it’s your job to sift through the bitching to find the actual gems out there. But oh, that bitching is still important to note because people don’t get pissed at policy for no reason–somewhere along the way, some people fucked up with providing transparency.

    1. sorry I forgot to include the link-

      I personally have asked people from day one of finding out I will be serving on this committee for input not many people gave me anything. Honestly, I didn’t sign up for this committee for some reason I was chosen and I am only one of 9 students on this committee I am here to reach out and I choose to go through the bitching to find better answers. We have been very transparent through the process all of our meeting minutes are posted online with notes all our meetings are open to the public we have had scholars come in to help us with the process.
      Come into the meeting next week!

        1. Who knew UCSD students are that classy? If you don’t even have balls to put your real name down, then just gtfo. Thank you Liza and your team, at least you guys are trying and are doing something to save Sungod. Is it the best solution? Only time will tell. I do like the idea though.

      1. Lisa here’s some advice for you personally: Do not say anything about this or relating to your position online. There will be haters, and when you try to fight back more will hate you. Leave the discussion to outsiders. As soon as you fight back at their comments, you have already stooped to their level. Think about divisive pop-icons and star athletes: They often never reply directly to people online, and if they do it’s not to their haters. It makes them look weak. I suggest you do the same since you’re one of the 12 public figures here.

  23. Instead of eliminating them completely, you could just charge an insanely high price so that the people who WOULD pay that price probably wouldn’t waste their money being dead drunk there.

    1. …that probably wouldn’t work either because those people who are desperate to attend or are willing to pay an insanely high price for a ticket WILL, in fact, not give a shit and would feel the need to go HAM and get shitfaced haha

  24. I just love going to a college full of sheltered-religiously-overzealous-socially-crippled douchebags…Goooo Tritons !!

    1. I would love to hear your opinions on how to solve this problem. I don’t appreciate you calling me dumb. I want a fun sungod … Shit I want my best friend not from UCSD to come to SunGod but when faced with the decision of having sungod or not… I’d rather have sun god and not have my friend come rather than see maybe the last sungod. If that makes me dumb … well so be it

      1. I think someone that spells “fucking” as “fuhken” is not to be taken seriously. I support the decision, by the way. Last year, I couldn’t get a ticket, and I was a student who had already paid for my ticket through my tuition! I really don’t care for all those people who bring like 8 of their bros from back home to this concert. Totally unnecessary, and students like me aren’t able to go as a result, and even subsidize their tickets with our tuition!

  25. As a student on the task force, I wanted to say to everyone to look at the numbers and instead of being angry think of ways to make sun god more safe. If you have any ideas feel free to contact me! [email protected] I want Sun God to be fun its a big deal for me too! But we have to make sure its sustainable! If a death happens at Sun God it will be shut down immediately and both our chancellor and vice chancellor don’t want that to happen! Also they will be giving funding in order to maintain the quality of the event!

    1. You care more about the event than the safety students? What’s wrong with you?

      If your main concern is keeping people alive, and not dead, why not just not just reformat the event so that you do have the proper resources available? Or fundraise so that you can hire someone for improved security. You want to work improving preventative measures to keep people safe before you do anything. It sounds like this event needs a complete overhaul.

      1. No I do care about the event its one of my favorite events of the year, but the fact of the matter is that its becoming a lot more unsafe than in years prior.

        Right now a lot of the money allocated to sun god goes to security and such and its always very tight. The festival is free for students so unless students are willing to pay a fee for sungod we really cant get anymore funding (funding comes from the student activity fee – but money from the student activity fee also gets allocated to on campus organizations AS as well as resources for students)

  26. I feel like a better solution would be to make it so that students have to register a name on the guest passes and make the students responsible for their guests. That if that guest gets in trouble the student who brought the guest could be found since the guests name would be registered under them and the students who would be more inclined to keep their guests in line if they also have a chance of being punished for their guests actions. Other ideas would be to have a one strike policy where if you or your guest violated rules then you would not be allowed to attend sun god for either the next year or your remaining years at UCSD, however this could be a lesser deterrent for seniors.

    1. Out of the responses I’ve seen from this update so far, this seems like a more reasonable and acceptable solution. I am not sure what rules, if any, are in place already about making students responsible for the behavior of others, but doing this would work toward the same goal of keeping students safe and healthy (and also mindful of their own and others’ behavior).

  27. There’s a space at the beginning of the second paragraph that’s really bothering me.

    Also, wouldn’t an easier fix, since students account for most of the attendees and they have exhausted the amount of safety they can dish out during this thing, be to reduce the amount people that can attend all together. That way it’s easier to monitor and not a clusterfuck of people.

  28. Fuck that, fuck this shit, this school does nothing right!!! The administration are a bunch of fucking clowns

  29. As a current UCSD student, I believe this change has been long coming and will be a welcome change by many. No guest tickets means more student tickets. This means there will fewer instances of students attempting to scalp other students for tickets that should be free.

    Plus, people don’t realize that SGF 2014 almost didn’t happen. This would have meant no event. Period. I’d rather lose guest tickets and the hassles they come with it than lose the entire event.

  30. This is insane, instead of eliminating tickets, how about the security gets better… This is unfair to those who want to come to Sun God for the sake of the music instead of getting wasted. Getting rid of guest tickets won’t stop the problem from occurring with the students within UCSD.

  31. As a current UCSD student I believe this is absolutely ridiculous! Where was the student body input when this policy was established?

    1. The task force members include nine students (the Presidents of AS and GSA, representatives of each of the six colleges, and the AS Vice President for Concerts and Events).

    2. I was a guest at last year’s festival and I believe that the elimination of guest tickets is completely unfair. Some of us go to schools that don’t offer events such as Sun God so an invitation to UCSD is all we have. And not all guests come to get shitfaced and raise the percentages of alcohol or medical related issues. Also, I’m sure the school benefits a whole lot from these students who do want to go to a festival to have a good time. $65 per person for the 3,000 non students is quite a lot. Perhaps the answer isn’t the elimination of guest tickets but a crackdown on security. Security was minimal at last year’s festival. All we had to go through was wristband checks. So I don’t believe you could blame the increases in percentages on guests. Even if you do eliminate guests, there is no guarantee those percentages would go down. It is not as if only non student guests get into trouble. The better solution here is to increase security and actually make it effective.

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