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Following are several useful links for information online:

Ticket information for Oct. 18 & 19 talks:

Dalai Lama event information on the WCSU website:

Information about DNKL:

Website of the Office of Tibet, New York:

Official website of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama:

Public purchase of Dalai Lama tickets starts June 25

The terms of the agreement signed by the university, DNKL and Office of Tibet/New York representatives in January affirmed several important conditions that apply to all of the Dalai Lama’s overseas speaking engagements.  His Holiness will not charge a fee for his talks, and all event expenses must be covered exclusively by ticket sales, sponsorships and other revenues generated in connection with the visit. Neither the university nor DNKL will use institutional funds to pay for event costs, and neither will profit from the event.

If income from event revenues and sponsor donations should exceed total expenses for the visit, the surplus will be disbursed to charitable organizations approved by the Office of His Holiness and the Office of Tibet/New York. Forty percent of these charitable funds would be set aside to benefit one or more programs designated by the university and DNKL and approved by the Office of His Holiness, in areas of academic study, scholarship or other themes appropriate to the Dalai Lama’s visit.

The Office of Tibet/New York has reviewed and approved ticket policies for the event to ensure that pricing affords maximum public access to His Holiness’s talks. Bechard noted that approximately 40 percent of the 3,500 seats on sale for each talk have been priced at $40 or less, with additional provisions made to encourage student attendance.

One of the important lessons drawn from ticket sales for Dalai Lama visits at other universities has been the establishment of a random-draw system to select ticket applicants who then will be invited to purchase up to two tickets for the talk of their choice at the university box office. Bechard observed that the steering committee had learned that direct online ticket sales have proven vulnerable to block purchases by ticket wholesalers, which typically mark up prices substantially for resale to the public.

An initial random draw for a limited number of seats was held this spring for members of the WCSU and DNKL communities. The general public will be invited to submit ticket requests online through the Dalai Lama portal on the WCSU website in a second random draw beginning the week of June 25, with draw selections to be announced online weekly until all seats available have been awarded.  Successful ticket applicants will be provided instructions to confirm and pay for their ticket reservations at the WCSU Box Office.

“This offers a good way for us to be fair,” Bechard noted, while offering an effective means to discourage purchases of large ticket blocks for resale at a profit. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to get tickets through random draws,” she said.

The scale of the event budget, which Bechard estimated at just under $350,000, reflects the magnitude of the undertaking in arranging this historic visit. Among the important challenges that must be addressed:

·         Transportation: Parking sites for ticket holders for the Oct. 18 and 19 talks will be established off campus, and a fleet of 40 buses will transport the 3,500 guests at each event to and from the O’Neill Center.  Bus service to accommodate such a massive people-moving challenge represents the single largest expense of the event, Bechard noted.

·         Security: The security of the Dalai Lama is a major priority in organization of the visit, and His Holiness will be under the protection of the U.S. State Department throughout his visit to the United States. Requirements include provisions for security sweeps and lockdown of the O’Neill Center in the week prior to the event, and security checkpoints at all entrances to prevent entrance with prohibited items. Danbury and WCSU police and support staff will be assigned to cover security tasks at the O’Neill Center and Westside campus, as well as assist with traffic control.

·         Staging: Aside from transportation, the contracted services for professional sound, lighting and media systems represent the most significant expense of the event. Plans call for placement of Jumbotron screens on either side of the stage, as well as video equipment to record the talks and to stream them live for real-time viewing on the WCSU website and at several Danbury area schools. “The Office of Tibet/New York encouraged us to use social media,” Bechard said. “His Holiness is very interested in social media; he has a Twitter account and a Facebook account, and you can watch many of his talks on YouTube.”

·         Travel and lodging: Proceeds from the event also will defray the expenses for transportation of the Dalai Lama and his staff from his prior appearance at Brown University in Rhode Island to Danbury, as well as lodging and meal expenses during their stay.  The cost for the Dalai Lama’s international travel to the United States will be paid proportionately from revenues raised from his appearances during his autumn visit at WCSU, Brown and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The steering committee plans to interview applicants from the WCSU and DNKL communities to fill volunteer service tasks essential to running the event. Volunteer assignments will include ushers to seat guests at the event; guides at the event parking sites and on transport buses to the O’Neill Center; support staff at entrance security points to check prohibited items for reclaiming after the event; and other hospitality services at the O’Neill Center.

Cover photo: This logo was created in honor of the visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The heart is the center with the spokes of circle radiating out to the circle of life and the interconnection of all things. The five colors in the center are from the Tibetan prayer flags.  The 5 colors of prayer flags represent the five basic elements: yellow-earth, green–water, red-fire, white-air, blue-space. Balancing these elements externally brings harmony to the environment. Balancing the elements internally brings health to the body and the mind.
Above photo: President Schmotter and a representative from the Office of Tibet/New York.

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