Man selling paintball tickets on campus appears to claim false association to ASUCLA
A man selling paintball tickets to students in lecture halls claims to be associated with Associated Students UCLA and UCLA Special Events and Protocol, but he does not appear to be connected with either organization. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)
By Sara Hubbard
March 7, 2019 12:16 a.m.
A man who appears to be falsely claiming association with on-campus organizations has been coming into classes and attempting to sell tickets to students for admittance to paintball parks.
The man has been entering lectures and advertising discounted paintball tickets, which are valid and accepted at the parks listed on them. Despite claiming to be affiliated with Associated Students UCLA and UCLA Special Events and Protocol while selling to students, the man does not appear to be connected with either organization.
Jazmyn Yap, a third-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student, purchased a ticket Feb. 26 after the man came into her Chemistry 153A class. Yap said the man also came into her Life Sciences 107 class.
“He said he was working with UCLA’s special events,” Yap said.
She paid $10 via Venmo for a ticket that is valid for two admittances. She added she remembered him similarly advertising in one of her classes last year and felt more comfortable buying a ticket from him because of that.
Hollywood Sports Park, one of the paintball locations in California listed on the back of the tickets, confirmed that they do accept the tickets. They sell them to a third-party company, listed as Monetary Marketing on the tickets, which then resells them through independent contractors to the public.
A spokesperson from Hollywood Sports Park said students who purchased the tickets are often surprised when they try to use them, as the ticket does not cover additional required fees. These fees include the costs of carbon dioxide cartridges and paintballs. As a result, a round of paintball can end up costing up to $50 as opposed to the initial $10 cost of the ticket.
A spokesperson from Monetary Marketing said they work with an independent contractor, who is a UCLA graduate student and has been selling tickets on campus. They added the contractor sold 27 tickets on campus in an incorrect manner, but Monetary Marketing is currently working to address the situation. The spokesperson did not clarify what was incorrect about the way in which the contractor sold tickets.
However, the spokesperson also said that the contractor used a Venmo that did not match his own name, and did not disclose the real name of the individual.
Tod Tamberg, a UCLA spokesperson, said no one matching the description of the man appears to be working for UCLA Special Events and Protocol. Roy Champawat, director of the ASUCLA Student Union, also said he does not believe this man is a part of the association. Champawat added he is unaware of any current events or fundraisers that involve paintball.
“Many of the things that are agreement or contract-related come through my office,” Champawat said. “I have not heard of this initiative if it has come from some office.”
Champawat also said it is possible one of the student-run business enterprises associated with ASUCLA may be hosting a fundraising event involving paintball. However, he added this is unlikely because the man never specified he was selling the tickets for fundraising purposes.
“I wouldn’t anticipate that they are in fact associated with ASUCLA officially,” Champawat said.
Some professors and students said they initially believed the man was part of a scam because of his false claims to have connections to UCLA Special Events and Protocol and ASUCLA. Yap said she and her classmates received an email from Heather Tienson-Tseng, a chemistry professor who teaches Chemistry 153A, encouraging them to verify the validity of the tickets and apologizing for allowing the man to speak to the class.
Robert Frank Jr., a history professor, said the man came into his History 3D class Feb. 26. Frank said he assumed the man was part of a UCLA organization and perceived him to be legitimate at the time.
Logan Flores, a first-year study of religion student who is in Frank’s History 3D class, said the man introduced himself as being part of ASUCLA but did not mention his name.
“He said, ‘Hello, I’m part of ASUCLA and we’re going to be selling paintball tickets.’ And I don’t remember the numbers exactly, but I think he said it was like a 90 percent-off discount to go paintballing,” Flores said.
University police Lt. Kevin Kilgore said in an email statement that UCPD is currently investigating this situation.