In conjunction with a decision to combine Homecoming and Parents’ Weekend, the university has asked the Activities Council of Bradley University to host the fall concert on the same weekend, making the job of ACBU members a little more difficult.
“The administration asked ACBU to plan a concert which students would be excited about for Saturday, Oct. 15,” Director of Student Activities Michelle Whited said.
Usually, ACBU coordinators are able to choose from several dates in the fall semester depending on the space and performer’s availability. But because of a combined Homecoming and Parents weekend, coordinators’ choices have been limited to just one night.
Sophomore Bryant Au, the Special Events Reserve Fund Coordinator for the fall concert, said his biggest concern is being able to book a popular performer with such little flexibility.
“We have little control over what performers are available for that weekend,” he said. “We don’t know what bands would be coming through the area that weekend and if they are bands students want.”
Whited said concerts on campus have been planned by students for more than 30 years and this isn’t the first time administration has picked a date for the fall concert.
“ACBU was asked to plan the inaugural concert [Weezer] in the Renaissance Coliseum for the specific September date this past fall,” she said. “This was the first time I am aware of that the administration had selected a date for a concert.”
Vice President of Student Affairs Alan Galsky said he realizes the difficulty of booking a show of student interest for that specific night and has asked ACBU coordinators to come to him if they need additional financial support.
“We realize that they may get charged more for a specific Saturday night, and there is only so much money they can spend so they can have a spring concert too,” he said. “We don’t want cost to be the sole factor of yes or no.”
ACBU president Kristin Martino said they are grateful for financial help, but stressed that it is their show and student fees are paying for the performance so the show is still for the students.
“We appreciate the money they are willing to give, but it needs to be pointed out that they shouldn’t have the final say,” Martino said. “We’ve never had to ask permission or approval, it was these last few shows that made us realize we don’t have as much free reign as we are entitled to. They almost have a leash on us. Instead of 20 feet its two feet.”
Even though there is pressure to book a performer for that weekend, Au said they will not book a show students wouldn’t enjoy.
“Worst case scenario, if we cannot put on a quality show that students would attend and would make the campus look good we would reserve the funds for another date,” he said. “If we can’t, we can’t.”