email i just send to the DIA (semi-long):
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing you to let you know about some issues that I have had during my recent Illinois Athletic experiences. First, let me give you a little bit of background.
I am a lifelong Illini fan, grew up in central Illinois cheering for the Illini. I didn't get to go to games when I was little, as that was all well out of our family's budget. However, as an adult, I have tried to attend at least a few events every year, in spite of continued budget constraints. This year, I managed to find the money to get 2 season tickets to football (let me state before my complaint: the lowering of the prices was a great idea and gave people like me an opportunity to truly enjoy the Illinois Renaissance. I know that the people in Loyalty Circle are much more important to the continued existence of Illinois Athletics, so maybe you will just "tune me out" now, since I have admitted that my financial contribution to the Athletic Department is minimal.
However, I would hope that you at least give some thought to the "little guy", because we are also pretty important. The thousands of fans like me that get to see one game a year or so, we are the ones that fill those seats on cold winter nights when no one else cares to go. I love going to one basketball game a year and it is usually a wonderful time for me. Because of the student break and the non-conference "lesser" foe, I generally can manage to get tickets to a game around my birthday (which was yesterday, Dec. 17th) and it is usually my most anticipated activity.
Last night was no different than usual; I was enjoying myself and cheering for our team. Until halftime that is, when I went to get some dinner. I had been running around all day and hadn't eaten, so I was pretty hungry by halftime. My friend and I got in line as soon as the first half was over. By the time we got to the front, they had run out of the 'dinner' foods. I was pretty upset, as there was 3 minutes left in the halftime and I didn't wish to stand in another line and miss part of the second half. The 8h graders running the concession, though, were completely unphased by the fact that they were unable to assist their customers who had stood in line for about 15 minutes for a crappy hot dog! By the way, this the second time in as many events in Champaign that this has happened (the northwestern football game being the other one--in that halftime I stood in two separate lines for over 15 minutes only to be told they were out of food).
Maybe its time for the DIA to acknowledge that the "8th grade class trip" might not be the people who should be running any operations for a major conference, Division I school. If that is too much to ask, can you at least request that the 14 year olds pretend like they care when they are unable to serve your paying customers? Or better yet, can you just have one of them go to the stand two feet down the concourse and pick up a few of their hot dogs?