While nothing has been set in stone, we at The New Paltz Oracle are happy with Student Association (SA) Production’s attempt to have a more student-represented spring concert. The politics that strangled the process last year can now be avoided by simply bringing an act that students actually want to see.
With a brand new and diverse board this year, SA Productions is currently putting together a festival for the spring with music, food and games. Local bands will play throughout the day and one, or possibly two, larger act(s) will conclude the festival. New Paltz is teeming with talent, so we’re happy that there is a strong focus on local music. Finally, SA Productions is catering to what students want.
Although plans are still in the beginning stages, SA Productions will eventually send out a campus-wide survey with multiple acts for students to choose from. They have also decided to go face-to-face with students to find out exactly what we want. Although the e-mail surveys are helpful, SA Productions is aware that not everyone will participate. We’re glad that the board is really showing their dedication. As they narrow down a list of over 40 bands (including MGMT and Drake) we can only hope for something great – especially with a $50,000 budget.
It’s a little ridiculous, however, that we must congratulate them for doing their job. Last year’s concert is a prime example of how SA Productions really did not have the students’ interests at heart. By combining Rock Against Racism with the spring concert, the event became affiliated with a politically-driven organization instead of just providing entertainment for the students. Plus, it became a completely complicated situation; Nas was supposed to perform on Old Main Quad, but for multiple reasons he was squashed into the Elting Gym. This limited attendance to 1,500, even though the entire student body paid for the show since funds collected from our student activity fee help supply the SA Productions budget.
The concert in the spring is paid for by us, the students, when we pay this mandatory fee. Therefore, it’s about damned time we enjoy the show we unwillingly pay for. If the money comes from all of us, shouldn’t the decision be made by all of us? Each semester we fork over a fee with the intention of enhancing our college experience.
As we are commending SA Productions for finally working in the right direction, we feel this should be the standard when it comes to events like this. We elect senators who participate in SA Productions, and in doing so elect them to provide entertainment for us and not not just for themselves. SA Productions job is to represent the student body and our spring concert should be as broad-based as possible and not just appeal to the personal agendas of a few senators.