Taylor Swift fans hassle NYU seniors for graduation tickets

Some Taylor Swift fans are offering hundreds of dollars for tickets to see her at NYU’s 2022 commencement ceremony.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

With Taylor Swift slated to speak at NYU’s commencement ceremony, Swifties are trying to buy tickets to the event from graduating NYU students. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Carmo Moniz, Deputy News Editor

After graduating Steinhardt senior Emily Jenks tweeted about Taylor Swift speaking at her NYU commencement ceremony, she was contacted by a Swift fan on Twitter who offered her $200 for her tickets — and her family said they were OK with her selling them. But fearing disciplinary action from NYU, she decided to give the tickets to her parents instead.

It’s a bit invasive to seek out graduates on social media and send unsolicited messages asking for tickets,” Jenks said. “That being said, it’s not nearly as disrespectful or problematic as some people are making it out to be.

The graduation ceremonies for the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 will take place on May 18 at Yankee Stadium. Swift was chosen as the speaker for the class of 2022 ceremony, which will be held at 11 a.m. Judith Heumann, a disability rights activist, will address 2020 and 2021 graduates at 6 p.m.

Jenks is one of many current NYU seniors who have been approached on social media by Swift fans hoping to buy their two tickets to their commencement ceremony. Jenks and other students, however, are unable to sell their tickets due to NYU’s ticketing policy, which prohibits graduates from buying or auctioning off their tickets. Students who violate the policy can face delays in receiving their degrees and diplomas.

“Realistically, I’m not going to sell my tickets given the potential consequences of violating the ticketing policy — it’s very unfortunate that this policy exists,” Jenks said. Graduates should be given the freedom to sell tickets as we please, seeing as many of us have incurred large amounts of student debt and could benefit financially from those willing to pay for tickets.”

Katie Hoedt, a journalism graduate student, plans to give her two tickets to her parents for the ceremony. Her sister Lexi is flying to New York City from California in hopes of receiving an extra ticket from NYU’s ticket lottery, which enables graduates to enter to win an extra guest ticket.

While Hoedt has been looking on social media for seniors who have decided to sell their tickets, she said it has been difficult to find an extra ticket due to the high demand among Swift fans.

“I know people are fans of Taylor Swift, but it’s kind of obnoxious that other people aren’t thinking of families who actually have students graduating,” she said. “Taylor Swift fans aren’t just like anyone who’s obsessed with any artist. They’re absolutely crazy and will do anything to get into that graduation ceremony.”

Although Swift will only speak at the class of 2022 ceremony, 2020 and 2021 graduates are also being approached for tickets. William Ferrante, a 2021 alum of the NYU College of Dentistry, said that Swift fans started replying to his tweet about Swift speaking at commencement.

It’s pretty funny to see some of Taylor’s fans ask on social media about getting NYU commencement tickets,” Ferrante said. “It shows the power of social media and the whole concept of stan culture. My personal opinion is to let people enjoy what they enjoy.”

One of Ferrante’s friends, Bobby Schneider — a Swift fan who is not an NYU student — had initially asked Ferrante if there was any way he could attend the commencement to see Swift. As part of the fandom, Schneider said that fans are willing to buy tickets to see Swift live because they have not been able to during the pandemic.

“​​This event at NYU is likely one of the first times fans are getting that chance to see their favorite artist in person in two years, and many are more than willing to go the extra mile in their efforts to do it,” Schneider said. “The day is obviously about the graduates and their accomplishments.

Contact Carmo Moniz at [email protected].