A University is inviting me as a speaker to their conference. They don't want to pay my regular rate, so I offer: I can do it for free if you guarantee that students will not pay for access to my talk in the conference.
They reply that they need the money and can allow _some_ of the students to come for free, but the first rows will be ticketed.
I don't know how to feel about it.
Speaking from experience in organising conferences, the people/department who are hosting/organising it may genuinely have a tight budget and limited funding. Which means its entirely possible that without income from tickets for those first rows, they may not be able to afford to host a conference at all.
In that sense, the people who can afford more will be helping to pay for the attendance of those who can't. If that helps.
Hard to say more without knowing the details though.
@InvaderXan I'm especially hostile about this group, since they wanted me to deepthroat several huge corporations by encouraging students to work there (they're known to be awful employers).
At the same time, they didn't agree to invite Mitch Altman when he was in Poland.
We used to give free cybersecurity talks which were extremely popular, but each year they moved us to a smaller room giving the big hall for the sponsors, who no one wanted to see.
I don't want to be supporting corps again.
Ah, ok. In that case your misgivings are completely understandable. I'd have doubts too.
Getting to educate students on cybersecurity. I see that there's no point, really. I already replied in strong words, explaining I don't want to validate corporations by my presence and I'd much rather go to a smaller conference where people don't need to pay for lectures.