By Natalie Sit
The Porn Star Party was plagued by fraudulent tickets allegedly sold by Students’ Union Events Commissioner Chris Mah.
Valid tickets for the Sat., Apr. 6 event were only sold at a table in MacEwan Student Centre by the University of Calgary Snow- board Club, which organizes the popular event each year, and were hand numbered. Between 100 and 300 photocopied tickets were allegedly sold by the commissioner, mainly in residence. Some attendees were denied entry to the Den, either with a fake or legitimate ticket, because the number on their ticket was already entered.
At press time, Calgary Police had not laid charges and were not investigating.
"It hurt the members, and members are us, the most important part," said UCSBC senior executive Warren Wittman. "We’re disappointed people bought tickets and lost $10. They wanted a year-end event."
The alleged counterfeiter has since apologized, adding there is no proof the tickets he had were fake. He pointed to SU executives who bought tickets from him had no trouble going to the event.
"I was supposed to sell [tickets] at the table and I picked up the tickets but I couldn’t make it," Mah explained. "So I quickly ran to rez so not to ruin their plans and now they’re mad at me."
According to Mah, 60 to 80 per cent of the tickets he sold were real and he claimed he will be returning the money to students who purchased tickets from him.
"I’m trying to do everything and rectify the situation," he said. "As a student representative, I represent students and help them and I failed at it."
Wittman said none of the UCSBC executive has met the alleged commissioner and they no longer do contract sales with students where individuals would sell tickets in return for a free ticket.
"He could be telling the truth and someone else is ripping him off or he’s not telling the truth," said Wittman.
SU Vice-President Events Richard Bergen emphasized any rumours are unsubstantiated.
"We’re faced with rumours concerning who did it, who didn’t," said Bergen. "People think he is guilty. We need to figure out who did or didn’t. It would be nice if it was open and shut. It was simply allegations in the newspaper."
UCSBC is asking for people who bought a fake ticket to contact them so a police investigation can begin.
"It’s contingent on people coming forward to press charges," said Wittman.
Gillian Sissons, a second-year Communication Studies student, bought tickets with a group of people from Mah. She arrived early and was admitted with no problems. However, some of her other friends arrived much later in the evening and were turned away.
"He left signs with his phone number in rez and was walking around," said Sissons. "He was selling tickets for $5."
Wittman said the UCSBC apologizes for the ticket situation. He added the SU printed the tickets. The fraudulent tickets caused a headache for the club at the beginning of the party because each ticket had to be scrutinized, creating a bottleneck at the Den entrance.
"The problem is that the counterfeit was really close," said Wittman. "It’s impossible to detect the difference. The tickets aren’t our property, it’s the SU’s deal. "
The UCSBC also recounted ru- mours of someone standing in line to enter the Den while cutting up sheets of photocopied tickets.
"It’s disappointing and kinda frustrating with the problems at the beginning of the party," said James Graham, a second-year General Studies student. "It seemed everything that would go wrong did go wrong."
The cabaret ultimately ended early after someone triggered the sprinkler system with a lighter and the Den had to be evacuated.
UCSBC is encouraging anyone who bought a fake ticket to contact the them at firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading "Fake Porn Star Tickets."
Also, anyone who has information that leads to an arrest of the person who triggered the sprinkler system is eligible for a $500 reward from the UCSBC. To contact Calgary Police, call Cnst. Kelly Chisholm at 288-5689.