Bono, the frontman of pop band U2, is coming Nov. 12 to speak at Georgetown. Although he may be surprised when he doesn’t find a long line of adoring fans waiting at the doors of Gaston Hall, we are grateful for Georgetown’s decision to award seats via a lottery system rather than on a first-come, first-served basis.

This method is preferable and should be employed for all high-profile campus events that attract more students than can be seated.

According to a representative from the Global Social Enterprise Initiative, the sponsor for the event — which features Bono and the chief executive officer of co-sponsor Bank of America — the lottery system was chosen because the university anticipated that student interest would exceed the capacity of Gaston Hall.

In contrast, many events involving famous figures, such as the speech given by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in October, have promoted long lines of students waiting to secure seats hours before the event is scheduled to begin. Students began arriving as early as 4 a.m. to get a seat to see Clinton, and many who got in line hours in advance were still eventually turned away. The long lines required many students to skip class or other obligations.

The argument for first-come, first-served seating is that it tests commitment and sifts out students who aren’t the most passionate about attending. But in the case of events like the Clinton speech, this system promoted needless sacrifice rather than displays of dedication. Every Georgetown student is worthy of attending events on campus that are open to the public, and that shouldn’t have to be proven by foregoing other responsibilities during the day.

A lottery system allows students to arrange their schedules around the actual start and end time of an event. Georgetown attracts many unique and influential speakers, and while it is not feasible to allow every interested undergraduate to attend the event, coordinators can do more to make sure that limited seats are always distributed fairly.

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