Spring Weekend’s Success, Regardless of its Celebrity

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Spring Weekend’s Success, Regardless of its Celebrity

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This past Saturday, students gathered on Martyrs’ Lawn for Fordham’s annual Spring Weekend concert put together by Campus Activities Board (CAB). Performers for the event included The Usual, Bryce Vyne and Whethan; notably, Sean Kingston – the show’s intended headliner – was not one of them.

The Ram commends Christopher Rogers, dean of students, for earnestly listening to the testimony of those on campus who respectfully advocated for Kingston’s removal and deciding to pull him from the concert lineup. It was the work and persistence of the United Student Government (USG) and Students Against Sean that led the university to make the right decision.

Kingston’s impending performance at Rose Hill was a point of much contention among the student body for several weeks prior to the event.

The Ram wholeheartedly encourages robust community-oriented dialogue. As the university’s journal of record, we aim to provide a space for this discourse and for the sentiments of all members of our diverse student body within our pages.

In retrospect, we acknowledge that our Editorial Board should have entered the dialogue earlier and vocalized its support of “Students Against Sean” to further encourage the university to remove the performer before a decision had been made. We chose not to do so, though, in an attempt to preserve the integrity of our news coverage.

We stand by both our news and opinion coverage as valuable additions to the conversation, along with this editorial published after the fact.

In order for a community to thrive, it is crucial that its members have opportunities to express their opinions, to be vocal about causes they believe in and to be critical of institutions they believe are not doing right.

The Ram did not condone CAB’s choice to keep Kingston in its Spring Weekend lineup. We also believe the Office for Student Involvement (OSI) took too long to pull Kingston from it afterward. However, we understand the thoughtful deliberation each group put into its respective decision and acknowledge the difficulty it must have taken to come to both.

It is clear CAB faces an annual challenge in getting a Spring Weekend performer that students will enjoy and OSI will approve. The group works hard each year to work within this acceptable middle ground. It is understandable that CAB would hesitate to pull its main performer with such a grim likelihood of getting an approvable replacement within the given timeframe.

Nonetheless, the tumultuous events leading up to this year’s concert must be avoided in the future. Some problems were out of CAB’s control, like Soulja Boy’s unexpected arrest; others, like the problems surrounding Kingston, were preventable.

To safeguard against similar situations in the future, CAB and OSI must maintain a stronger vetting process for potential performers. OSI should take into account the content of headliner’s past as much as it does the intended content of their performances.

Spring Weekend is a celebration of the closing academic year and a moment for members of the Fordham community to come together under the Jesuit values they honor throughout it.

This year’s Spring Weekend concert was successful as a result of both CAB’s dedicated planning and the Fordham community’s willingness to hold a powerful campus actor accountable to the university’s Jesuit identity.

The Ram believes those who claimed the event was unsuccessful because of the unexpected cancellations, and those who did not attend the concert for the same reasons, have missed the point of the event entirely.

Continue to engage in thoughtful dialogue about the ongoings of campus organizations, what they can do better and how those goals can be achieved going forward.

Be vocal about what you disagree with, but be mindful that your justified critique does not slip into unwarranted censure.

And those who are still disappointed to not have fire burned on the makeshift dance floor that is Martyrs’ Lawn should learn to go forth to set the world on fire instead.