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UNC -Charlotte Students Want More Tickets To Aiken Graduation

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CJHARLOTTE, N.C. — A seven-ticket limit on a University ofNorth Carolina-Charlotte graduation ceremony expected to involve"American Idol" star Clay Aiken has students protesting.

About 500 signed a petition Tuesday that calls the ticket policy"unfair" and asks university leaders to meet with students toconsider alternatives.

"We're just not being treated right," said Cody Willets, thesenior leading the effort.

University officials announced the ticket limit for the 3 p.m.Dec. 20 ceremony last week. Some students say they've alreadyinvited family and friends.

The university says it is limiting tickets because Aiken plansto attend and because of the large size of the graduating class.More than 1,000 students are eligible to graduate at the 3 p.m.ceremony.

Aiken, 24, is finishing an independent study course at UNCC now,his last requirement toward a Bachelor of Arts in specialeducation.

December graduate Sherry Vadney said the school could schedulean extra graduation ceremony that day or allow students scheduledto graduate with Aiken to move to a morning ceremony that isalready planned.

"We don't have a problem with Clay," Vadney said. "He's notrequesting any special treatment. We just feel like there are otheroptions."

Willets hopes to collect 1,000 more signatures Monday, whenclasses resume after Thanksgiving, and meet with universityofficials the next day.