Spring Party Weekend Committee Announces Changes for SPW 2015

WHAT+A+FIASCO%3A+Lupe+Fiasco+was+the+headliner+for+SPW+2014%2C+attracting+a+smaller+crowd+than+usual.

WHAT A FIASCO: Lupe Fiasco was the headliner for SPW 2014, attracting a smaller crowd than usual.

Elizabeth Hein, Maroon-News Staff

On Thursday, October 30, the Spring Party Weekend Committee held its first open forum to discuss plans for Spring Party Weekend (SPW) 2015. The meeting was led by members of the the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI), including Director of CLSI Michael Maningas, Office Manager of CLSI Denise Upton and Program Coordinators for CLSI Katie Kammerdiener, Keith Bingham and Drew Harris.

The purpose of the forum was to facilitate a conversation between the SPW Committee, comprised of selected students, and the faculty involved in planning the event. Other students who were interested in planning SPW were also invited to attend the meeting.

Spring Party Weekend is a Colgate tradition that occurs each spring. In the past, artists such as The Goo Goo Dolls, The Roots, Real Big Fish and Avicii have performed to the enjoyment of students and administrators alike. Last year’s headliner, Lupe Fiasco, received less success than years past, and one of the main topics of the meeting was how to avoid the under-attendance.

One proposed solution is to temper the high expectations surrounding the event by avoiding naming unrealistic artists during the voting period.

In previous years, the selection process for the artists included generating a list of popular artists and sending out a survey to students to vote on whom they would most like to see. This resulted in students expecting to see their first or second choice artists, when in fact, many times the entire list of artists would be unavailable or too expensive. The Committee would then be forced to select another artist that was not on the original list. To remedy this issue and try to satisfy the most people, it was decided at the meeting that this year’s survey will include a list of genres from which students can choose, and the Committee will select the most popular artists within the most popular genre.

“I thought the SPW meeting was a great opportunity for people who are passionate about music to make an impact on the event – both explicitly, by helping us decide on genres for the survey that everyone will get to vote for, and implicitly, by suggesting alternative ways of structuring the weekend schedule, and how we should allocate our budget towards different artists,” sophomore On Tim Tang said.

Another issue that came up was how to make SPW a more inclusive event. Suggestions included also having other less well-known artists perform in order to provide more options. There was also discussion of broadening the scope of the weekend to include more activities that could appeal to a wider audience. Activities mentioned include a capture the flag game, a tea party and appearances by a food truck.

“We are looking at SPW and asking ourselves, ‘How can it be more inclusive?’ SPW is greatly anticipated by a large majority of the student body each year, but there are groups of students who do not enjoy SPW for a variety of reasons. Students always tell me that this weekend is about bringing the Colgate community together. If that’s the case, the SPW Committee would like everyone to find something of value/interest to them during the weekend that encourages positive interactions with all students. I must admit, however, that the committee cannot accomplish this on their own.  It is the responsibility of everyone in the community to find ways to make this event [as well as others] more inclusive, open and inviting to anyone and everyone on this campus,” Director of CLSI Michael Maningas said.

SPW is set to occur on April 24-25, 2015, and a survey should be sent out to Colgate students within the next few weeks.

“I feel that the discourse was constructive and went very well, and I’m grateful for the many useful suggestions we received. I agree with some of the proposed changes to the survey, which, if implemented, will grant us more freedom come time to select the artist,” SPW committee member sophomore Brett Saperstein said.