BY JAMIE REESE
ASST. NEWS EDITOR
On Thursday, April 25, A$AP Rocky performed at the Sherman Theatre. The ESU Campus Activities Board (CAB) was responsible for a bulk of the planning and negotiating for the concert.
CAB brings an artist to the university (or more typically, the Sherman Theatre) every semester.
The process of selecting this performer is tedious, and “is a six month planning process,” said Kayshia Kruger, Concert Chair of CAB.
“We have a middle agent that compiles a list of availability in the region in the given timeframe,” said Kruger. “We take them (the artists) and put them in our survey.”
The survey is then presented to students, and they vote for their favorite artist.
“A$AP won by a majority of the votes,” said Kruger. “Students are the ones who voted for this…I’m just trying to fight for the students’ votes.”
Despite this, many on campus were opposed to the idea of bringing A$AP as the university’s performer this semester.
“They might have thought too much in the box,” said Dr. Peter Pruim, Philosophy professor at ESU. “Ironically, such maverick performers are the new box…It strikes me as a form reaching exhaustion.”
Dr. Pruim is the person accredited with bringing Noam Chomsky to ESU earlier this semester.
The President’s Office and the ESU administration refused to fund Chomsky.
The English Club, known for their yearly publication, Calliope, also works to bring a speaker to campus from the literary field each spring semester. They receive only about $500 each year from Student Activities Board (SAA).
SAA, as well, gives CAB money for their budgeted events, including bringing concerts and performances to campus.
On the other hand, these concerts bring in revenue through ticket sales. They more than pay for themselves.
Further criticism towards bringing A$AP came for the expected violence to commence at the concert.
“There were fights at the front, but the artist, A$AP Rocky stopped it,” said Kruger. “We knew it was going to happen…We had it covered…Safety is our number one virtue.”
Other accounts differed significantly.
“I heard a girl on the phone say she pulled another girl’s hair out,” said Savannah Doyle, another member of CAB.
“Security took care of it pretty well, or as well as they could, anyway,” said Michelle Grebeck, yet another member of CAB. “If we had it at the school, I don’t think we would have the proper security.”
Drug paraphernalia posed yet another challenge for CAB.
“I was on blunt watch,” said Doyle. “It became too difficult after a while.”
“I helped with the ticket taking. People were trying to come back in after having been kicked out,” said Grebeck. “They were extremely intoxicated.”
“When I was on the balcony,” said Grebeck, “someone passed out. He was completely out of it, and he wasn’t breathing.”
The most undeniable, predetermined issue with bringing A$AP as this semester’s performer was in his music, which is degrading to women.
“A lot of what he raps is explicit,” said Justin Amann, the newly elected president of Student Senate. “I don’t like the subjugation to women.”
“The music itself, it seemed so angry…I was miserable,” said Grebeck.
“I personally did not agree with his degrading of women,” said Kruger. “My role isn’t to filter that. They are adults and if they want to listen to that, that’s not my role.”
But I disagree. Adults can choose freely what they wish to listen to and promote, but as a university, should we be promoting something we “personally do not agree with?”
Fights occurred, students were injured, drugs were promoted, women were degraded, and the weakest part of our culture was boosted up while academia has continued to be ignored.
We brought A$AP instead of a performer suited for a university.
If an artist is to be considered for a university-sponsored event, he or she should at least be evaluated first, regardless of majority vote.
Any performer whose mere presence is expected to endanger students or anyone else should not be paid for with student funds.
CAB, President Welsh, Student Senate, The Board of Directors, or someone, anyone of some authority, should have stepped in and attempted to stop this, regardless of how unpopular such an action would have been.
On a final note, even the most deranged of us did not fully approve of A$AP Rocky performing at ESU.
“Meanwhile at ESU the activities board is promoting the spring A$AP Rocky concert. I wonder if he’ll sing that song about “loving bad b****** and it’s a f****** problem, yeah I like to f*** and it’s a f****** problem?,” asked Barstoolsports.com.
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