Days before the start of the spring semester, a survey was sent out to the student body regarding the annual Student Association Production (SAP) spring concert. The survey asked students to rank seven different artists based on how desirable they were as the concert’s headlining act.
The choice of artists has been met with criticism by the student body. When the survey came out, Facebook feeds were flooded with students complaining about the choice of artists being similar to artist selections in the past, as well as complaints about how unknown the artists were.
We at The New Paltz Oracle believe the student body has every right to complain about the choice of artists picked for this year’s concert and that the current system of artists selection needs a complete makeover.
In the past couple of years, SAP has picked a diverse crop of artists for the survey, which normally comes out near the end of the fall semester. However, this year’s choice of artists are all similar enough that it may alienate a large amount of the student body. This year’s choice of artists all have similar music styles, not to mention that they’re similar to artists that have been selected the past several years.
This isn’t to say these artists aren’t talented or undeserving of the money that comes from the activity fee we pay for as part of our tuition; We’re just disappointed that there wasn’t more of a selection given.
As students ourselves, we empathize with the sentiment that there are no major mainstream artists on the list. Students at SUNY schools are likely to have friends at other SUNYs, and are probably familiar with the artists that visit their friends’ schools. While we obviously cannot compete with the size and budget of schools like Binghamton, Buffalo and Albany, we can be competitive with schools like SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego and SUNY Fredonia.
Oswego alone has had acts such as The Goo Goo Dolls, Sam Adams and Lupe Fiasco as headliners. Fredonia has also had Fiasco, along with Jack’s Mannequin within the past few years. We find it difficult to believe that these schools have that much larger of a budget than ours that they are able to afford larger and different types of artists as opposed to us.
We always encourage students to get involved if they wish to see change, but that is much easier said than done. And when it comes to this year’s SAP process alone, we believe the committee could have done much more to pick a more diverse section of artists. In our coverage of Student Senate this past year, we noticed that discussion of the spring concert was mum in compared to years recent. We’re troubled by the possibility that the desire was not a high priority of SAP’s.
We believe that the current survey format needs a complete overhaul and has to be fixed. For too long now we have seen nothing but discontent and animosity as products of the survey. There needs to be increased dialogue before the final survey comes out, and SAP needs to be more open about the selections for the final survey.
We are confident in the ability of SAP to produce a concert students will be enthusiastic about, and we’re sure the final choice made will be considerate of what students hope to see.