During the first week of the semester, two individuals allegedly posing as students interrupted classes to sell tickets to off-campus events, according to professors in the Marketing and Sociology departments.
He said professor Donald Robertson was teaching his Ethnic Diversity in America course in the Sociology Department on Aug. 30 when two males entered his class.
They stated that they were from “Student Activities,” and in other classes said they were from “Campus Events,” promoting discounted tickets to an off-campus comedy club.
“The way they (introduced themselves) made it seem it was authorized by the student government,” Robertson said.
He said he really did not give the announcement much thought at the time, but later said their intentions seemed deceptive.
“They gave the impression that they were students,” he said. “Whether they specifically said they were students, I don’t know.”
Robertson said the two men walked in before class started and asked if they could make a brief announcement.
“I did what I would typically do in that case,” he said. “I accommodated them.”
Numerous calls made to contact one of the individuals, who identified himself as Jordan, to ask him about the tickets he and his partner were selling were unsuccessful. One of the alleged ticket sellers told the Daily Sundial he was selling tickets for a marketing course on campus.
Fred Evans, dean of the College of Business and Economics, which oversees the Marketing Department, said he was unaware of any such marketing class.
“If there is (a course), I don’t know anything about it,” he said.
Judith Hennessey, chair of the Marketing Department, also denied the existence of the class.
“Marketing would never do anything like that,” Hennessy said. “We do deliver community service projects, but we don’t sell items for our own benefit.”
Hennessey was also one of the professors that encountered the two men selling tickets.
She said they came to her during the first week of the semester, but she refused them entry into her class.
“I told them they had to contact me in advance if they wanted to make any announcements,” Hennessey said. She said the individuals seemed pushy and aggressive about entering the class.
Hennessey also said she let her entire faculty know about what happened and found out the two individuals had also entered another marketing class.
Deborah Cours, marketing professor, said she allowed the two men to enter her classroom because they said they were going to make an announcement on behalf of “campus events.”
“I thought they were from the campus,” Cours said. “When it became clear there were selling items, I asked them to leave.”
Cours said the two men seemed surprised that she asked them to leave her class, but they cooperated. She said she was embarrassed by the incident.
“(When the men left) I told the students that I didn’t endorse them, and apologized for their time being wasted.”
Cours said that no one purchased tickets in class. The individuals wanted cash for the tickets, and she told them they could not do that in class.
“I think a few (of my students) thought they were pushy salesmen, but a lot of them were interested,” she said.
Hennessey said she was so concerned that she called the CSUN police, who said they would look into the situation.
According to Anne Glavin, CSUN chief of police, this is the first time the department has heard of this incident on campus.
The two men also entered an English course the first week of school, but the professor declined to comment on what happened.
According to Steve Wollman, a junior pre-CTVA major who was in the English course at the time, the men indicated they were from “Special Events” and offered to sell passes to a comedy club.
“They spoke as if they were really members (of ‘Special Events’),” Wollman said. “And then they went into their sales pitch as if they were doing all of us a favor.”
Robertson said that if the Associated Students did not authorize the announcement and the vending of items, then it was wrong.
“That’s how they presented it, as legitimate students representing the student body,” he said.
Robertson stated that none of the students seemed bothered or disturbed by the individuals. None of the students asked any questions.
He states that at least three students in class “took them up on the offer.”
“I don’t recall seeing any exchange of money,” he said. “It may have happened and I just wasn’t looking, but I don’t remember seeing any money.”
Kevin Mojaradi-Stenke, marketing and public relations coordinator for A.S., said the individuals that allegedly made the announcements are not associated with A.S.
“These people are not from A.S,” Mojaradi-Stenke said. “(A.S. members) are not allowed to sell tickets on campus. We are really strict with students.”
Cynthia Ramos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.