Spring Weekend is not all fun and games for a select group of Fordham students. As the most highly anticipated string of events during the school year, Spring Weekend takes a handful of architects to orchestrate. For Campus Activities Board (CAB) President Matt Grandchamp, GSB ’14, Spring Weekend is anything but a time for relaxation and merrymaking.
The weekend of events promised little to no sleep for Grandchamp and other CAB members. “People don’t understand that we are up Friday around 7 a.m. because that’s when the barricades and bathrooms arrive,” Grandchamp said. “We stay up until 2 a.m. that day, and we wake up at 5 a.m. on that Saturday morning, moving barricades, fences, equipment and everything for that weekend.”
Aside from the actual days of the concerts, the months that led up to Spring Weekend were stressful and at times frustrating. “My least favorite part about being on CAB is sometimes just how students don’t fully appreciate all the work and time that all the CAB members put into the organization of the [Spring Weekend] events,” Grandchamp explained. “We get frustrated by the small things that you get frustrated by.”
It is no secret that following the announcement of the Spring Weekend artists, there was a great deal of backlash from disappointed students. Twitter and Facebook overflowed with reactions, both good and bad, to this year’s performers Grandchamp expressed the stress that these mixed reactions on social media causes the CAB Executive Board.
“It’s not like we are picking the band that we want,” Grandchamp explains. “Because if it was me picking, you know I want Miley Cyrus or Kelly Clarkson, so that is really frustrating to see because CAB’s not picking who they want to bring.”
Pat McCarren, CAB’s concert co-chair, reiterates Grandchamp’s feelings while clarifying where CAB’s collective frustrations stem from in regards to the artists that are inevitably chosen. “When you are planning an event and put in a lot of effort, the last thing you want to hear is complaints, especially when you have to deal with challenges like administrative approval or pricing issues,” McCarren explains.
Although McCarren revealed that Grandchamp did, at times, become flustered and stressed himself out, it is expected with any leadership position involving a large number of people and events. “At one point or another we all get stressed, whether it is with a vendor or administrator or even a peer, so this weakness definitely comes with the territory,” McCarren said.
Even with these annoyances, Grandchamp remained focused and dedicated in executing Spring Weekend events successfully. “He has this ability to create a vision for an event or another CAB function and motivate others to work with him,” says Alex Chin Fong, GSB ’14, CAB’s comedy co-chair. “He is a very organized person, which makes events easier to run because there is little room for things to be forgotten or for unexpected surprises to occur.”
While Grandchamp is used to planning for the unexpected, he is not always sure what to expect from the talent that comes to Fordham. “One of the craziest [requests] was that we had to get 60 towels pre-washed and they had to be dark or grey for Third Eye Blind,” Grandchamp recalled.
More surprising for Grandchamp was how easygoing some of the talent has been in the past, such as 3LAU, the DJ for Friday night of Spring Weekend in 2012. “[3LAU] was in college at that time so it was really fun to meet someone that is about your same age, is an amazing DJ and he was building a school for children in need. So, he was really cool to meet and see how down to earth he was and how easy he was to talk to,” Grandchamp said.
Although Grandchamp remained very serious and professional throughout the interview, his fellow CAB members revealed a different side of him when they asked about him and his antics during CAB meetings. “He has to sometimes censor himself with our advisors,” Chin Fong wrote. “Sometimes he’ll catch himself before he curses. There have also been times when he’s given a count on how many times he cursed during the meeting or said something inappropriate.”
With his quirks in mind, Grandchamp has taken his time as president in stride and recalls it with a great deal of fondness. While there is an overflow of frustration that comes with the position, Grandchamp believes it is all worth it in the end.
“You look out into the crowd and see about 5,000 students or more just dancing and singing and enjoying the fun time,” Grandchamp said. “That’s the most rewarding thing, because you are bringing them entertainment. You planned that whole event so that those 5,000 students or more can enjoy a day of fun.”