Comedy Club Ticket Salesman: ‘No Joke’

A young man posing as a University student was selling tickets to the New York Comedy Club in several classrooms on campus two weeks ago. The tickets were determined legitimate and no arrest was made, but MUPD asked the individual to leave campus.

Accounting Professor Douglas Stives witnessed this salesman on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Stives said, “He barged into my 10 am class and asked if he could ‘have a minute to tell the class about a special offer from the Student Government.’ I was a little put off.”

The young man was selling tickets that were originally priced at $50 for $10, which were valid for two people, according to Stives. About eight students in his first class purchased tickets, with both cash and credit cards. The salesman had finished pitching and making purchases within five minutes of walking into the classroom.

“He looked and acted like a student. I asked my class if anyone knew him and they said no,” Stives said. The salesman returned to Stives’ 1 pm class. Stives confronted the salesman and asked who he was and explained that no one seemed to know him. At this point, the salesman introduced himself as Jeff Adams, a University student majoring in marketing. He pitched to Stives’ class, and after no one was interested, left quickly. “I realized I made a bad decision to let him enter my class. I should have told him we do not allow any solicitation in our classes and all selling requires a permit from the Student Government Association (SGA),” said Stives.

At 10:45 am on Thursday, Oct. 30, Adams also entered the classroom of Management Professor Dr. Daniel Ball. The salesman wrote “Jeff” and his phone number on the board for any students that wanted to contact him for information. This reporter attempted to contact Adams for information, and he declined to answer. Adams quickly pitched and began making his first transaction by taking cash from one student.

“I didn’t think too much of it at first, but that’s when I started getting a little uncomfortable…It seemed that his story was sketchy,” said Ball.

Another student in Ball’s class named Aubriann Fox, who is experienced with the New York Comedy Club from previously working there, began to get involved. “What bothered me was that clubs don’t usually have people actually selling tickets and accepting money. I asked who he was working for, and he back tracked a bit which made it even more sketchy,” said Fox. The salesman hurried out of the room after vaguely answering Fox’s questions.

Ball received confirmation from the rest of his class that something was off. He left his classroom and saw Adams in the same hallway a few yards away. He approached him and asked him about his contact information at the University and whom he worked with. Ball then contacted the Help Desk to find the extension of the Adams’ contact, but both the Help Desk and Student Activities responded by saying there was no contact at the University by that name. Student Activities proceeded to inform the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) for the safety of everyone involved. One officer was sent to Bey Hall to rectify the situation, according to Ball.

Ball said that he asked Adams to reverse the transaction he completed in his classroom before the calls were made, and he complied. Adams was apologetic and compliant during the whole affair, with no hint of malice in his words or actions. “I didn’t want to get him in trouble if he wasn’t doing anything out of malice,” said Ball.

Although the actions of Adams seemed suspicious, his tickets are legitimate. According to William McElrath, Chief of MUPD, Adams worked for a marketing company out of New York City, and was not a University student. “The individual was not charged with a crime as there is no indication of him doing anything criminally wrong. He was advised that he cannot advertise or sell items on campus without the permission of the University, and he was banned from campus. At this time we have no indication that any crime has been committed or that anyone’s credit card has been compromised,” said McElrath, who also noted that this type of situation has never occurred before on campus.

A week after this occurrence, MUPD had contacted two students who purchased tickets from the salesman, and neither of their credit cards had been compromised, according to McElrath. McElrath said that if anyone has concerns about the safety of their credit card, to contact your credit card company and report the matter to MUPD if any unusual activity is found on your account.

According to McElrath, if the salesman was a student of Monmouth, he could have been written up for Student Misconduct under the Student Code of Conduct for selling tickets without contacting Student Activities or SGA. If the tickets were actually illegitimate, MUPD would have arrested and charged the individual.

Amy Bellina, Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations said, “We didn’t authorize this and our office would not authorize any outside source to walk around campus to sell tickets for anything.”

Ball felt that the MUPD officer arrived to the scene quickly to resolve the situation. “Both the Help Desk and Student Activities were also extremely helpful, and every step in the system worked out perfectly. What we thought could have been a disaster, was fortunately not. This is a pat on the back for students, Student Activities, the Help Desk, and MUPD for doing their jobs so efficiently and working together to ensure each other’s safety,” said Ball.

MUPD urges faculty, staff, and students to report any suspicious activities to the Department immediately. In order to continue to maintain and preserve the University’s safety, call McElrath with any concerns: (732) 571-4444.