Chances are, you will not be able to see the Brandon Stanton lecture this Thursday. There will not be nearly enough space for the number of people interested in attending; there are over 1,300 people signed up on the Facebook event. McGinley Ballroom can hold a maximum of 500 people, while an adjacent lounge seats 600 people, putting the maximum capacity at around 1,100 people.
Nick Giampiccolo, FCRH ’17, co-chair of special events for the Campus Activities Board (CAB), said he tried to move the lecture to the gym to meet the expected attendance, but he encountered a small problem. “We wanted to hold the lecture in the Lombardi Gym instead, but it’s technically owned by Athletics.” The result would be a $10,000 rental fee for the university.
Fordham would have to pay an additional $10,000 to move an on-campus, university sponsored event from the McGinley Center to the Lombardi Gym. Hundreds of students are going to miss out on attending because of a lack of interest in finding a solution that will work better for the students.
Campus Activities Board has had a lot of trouble programming this year’s Spring Weekend.
“It took [Ms. Driscoll] over a month and a half to listen and approve the student DJ mixes for Friday night’s concert. Nine days before the event, she was still listening to them,” the CAB representative said.
“And it took her over three weeks to approve the Spring Week posters, too,” said Giampiccolo.
Scheduling the headliner every year is another nightmare. CAB has to submit a written proposal of any act the CAB concert committee wants to book, including a comprehensive listing of every song lyric the group has ever written.
The regulation leads to choosing groups that students are dispassionate about. The mood towards twenty-one pilots is moderately more enthusiastic than last year’s headliners but because of the restrictions the university places on performers, CAB has trouble meeting both the demands of students and OSLCD. In the battle of which group to appease, CAB has to lean towards the university, when it should be advocating for the students.
The blurry distinction between CAB and OSLCD is at the heart of this problem. CAB is a student organization that is mostly controlled by administration. All decisions and approval or disapproval power is routed through OSLCD, paid members of the university administration who are not invested in or connected to the heart of the student body.
The hierarchy of CAB and OSLCD is removing agency from the student leaders of CAB and the general student body, and we, the students, are letting it happen. Our money gets used to book bands we are not excited about and lectures we will not be able to attend. We need to take control of our student life and put the power back in our own hands.
Corrections: An earlier version misstated some facts about the Brandon Stanton lecture. While the original version stated that McGinley Ballroom can only hold a maximum of 500 people, the space would actually allow for 1,100 with the inclusion of an additional lounge space. Also, the student quoted in the piece was said to have tried moving the lecture to the Lombardi Field House, but the student had no role in doing so, given his role as co-chair of Special Events handling the DJ event of Spring Weekend. The piece also stated that athletics would charge CAB $10,000 to move the event, though the fee would be for equipment rentals and not be paid to Fordham athletics.
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