It is an unfortunate but readily observable fact that women’s sports teams at Georgetown do not get the same level of support as men’s sports teams. This is true across the board; the three most-attended sports are men’s basketball, men’s lacrosse and football.

While the Editorial Board strongly believes that our athletic program and our entire community would do well to show the women’s teams greater support and appreciation, we take issue with the recent decision to force men’s basketball season ticket holders also to buy women’s basketball seasons tickets as a package deal. Last year, season tickets for men’s games cost $100, the year before $90 and the year before that $85. This year, they are $125.

ex Carey, the sports information director, maintains that “men’s and women’s student season tickets were combined to encourage attendance at all Georgetown basketball games.” The $125 students will be paying this year is the $100 men’s ticket plus the $25 that the women’s tickets cost.

But how can Georgetown force students to pay for a service that most don’t want and few will attend?

There are legitimate reasons for raising the price of the season tickets, but forcing people to buy something they don’t want is not one of them. If the athletic department had said that they were raising the price to catch up with what other schools charge – at Marquette, for example, season tickets are $85 – students may have been upset, but the price hike would have been legitimate.

Similarly, had the athletic department said that prices need to be raised because of increased costs associated with the tickets, it would have been understandable. But forcing students to buy the men’s and women’s season tickets as a package when most students will never go to a women’s game is wrong.

Tickets are already very expensive for the average student, yet every year in the past, Georgetown raised the price more than the rate of inflation. And tacking the women’s tickets on to the men’s this year is another unfair expenditure.

The men’s basketball games at the Verizon Center are some of the best community events at Georgetown. Chanting “We Are Georgetown” amidst a sea of blue and gray inspires a level of school pride that few other events at Georgetown incite. There is a dearth of events at Georgetown that bring so many Hoyas together, so Georgetown should encourage as many students as possible to attend. But raising ticket prices can only serve to discourage attendance at games. The administration should keep in mind that building a cherished sense of community at Georgetown is beneficial for them.

Other policies the athletic department has implemented, like last year’s policy of allowing certain randomly chosen viewers of women’s games to cut the line for purchasing Big East tournament tickets, are better ways to encourage attendance of and enthusiasm for the women’s basketball games.

If Georgetown wants to increase the school’s support of women’s teams (in particular the women’s basketball team), then it should explore a different strategy – one that actually increases interest instead of forcing financial contributions.

Correction: In the original version, the editorial incorrectly stated that student season tickets at Marquette cost $180.

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