Updated: Nov. 10, 2016 at 8:09 a.m.
Some students don’t want to celebrate president-elect Donald Trump’s impending inauguration.
Tickets for GW’s sixth inaugural ball – a University staple since the 1993 inauguration – have yet to sell out unlike in past years, and more than 70 students are trying to resell tickets at reduced prices on the inaugural ball’s Facebook page. The tickets first went on sale Election Day, so students purchased them before knowing who the president would be.
University spokeswoman Kurie Fitzgerald said that tickets are not refundable. Tickets cannot be exchanged or transferred, according to the ticket receipt.
Fitzgerald said more than 4,000 tickets were sold on Election Day, and a limited number of tickets are still available for sale.
Before the 2012 inaugural ball, all 5,500 tickets sold out nine minutes before midnight on Election Day.
Fitzgerald said ticket sales will cover the cost of the night’s events, but the University has not disclosed the event’s full budget. The ball will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on Inauguration Day from 8 p.m. to midnight.
“The inaugural ball brings the entire GW community together every four years. We look forward to continuing this tradition on Jan. 20,” Fitzgerald said.
Students purchased tickets for $135 on Election Day, and faculty, staff and alumni could buy tickets for $175. Tickets for students now cost $150 and are available for purchase online or at the Lisner Box Office.
Some students who bought their tickets before the election results rolled in want them off their hands, saying they do not want to celebrate Trump’s presidency.
Multicultural Greek Council President Clare Lewis said she decided to sell her two tickets Tuesday night when friends from varying backgrounds expressed fear of what Trump’s presidency would mean for the U.S. and the rest of the world.
“I don’t want to celebrate fear,” Lewis said. “I came to see Obama’s inauguration and I was really genuinely excited for Hillary’s too. I thought, here is a woman who is smart, savvy and direct, who is going to get things done.”
Junior Mikayla Walker sold two tickets for $100 each Wednesday, each at $50 less than what they would have cost if purchased from the University at the same time. She said she did not reach out to the University for a refund after she noticed the nonrefundable policy.
“I decided to sell my inaugural ball ticket because I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, but not only that, I am extremely against Donald Trump,” Walker said. “I just refuse to celebrate for someone who I don’t support.”
Freshman Jasmiine Flores said she would reconsider selling her ticket if she felt that the ball was a send-off for President Barack Obama but that she would not attend it as a celebration for Trump.
“As the daughter of immigrant parents I believe I should not celebrate such recognition for this man nor should I force myself into an environment that makes me feel unsafe,” Flores said.
Frank Fritz, who received a discounted ticket to the ball for $67.50, posted in the Facebook event that while he is thankful to the donating families whose contribution made it possible for GW to sell some discounted tickets, he has declined to accept his.
“As a mixed race man of color, and a human being of conscious, I know that my place is not at this Inaugural Ball,” Fritz said in his statement, which he said he also sent to officials. “My place is not to normalize his bigotry and chicanery, and to participate in this lavish event in his honor would do just that.”
Fritz added that Trump’s exacerbation of violence, racial tensions, misogyny, climate denial and nuclear proliferation are the antithesis of what he loves about America.
“His vision of life on this planet is candidly one that I do not think would be worth living,” Fritz said.
Other students posted on the page that they didn’t think reselling tickets was the right move.
“To all of you selling your tickets because Trump won: by choosing to not attend this event you are showing him he is winning, not just the election, but that hate is winning over our country. Don’t let him keep you from living your life and experiencing the amazing things our city and our university has to offer,” one student posted.