SPW Concert is ON!



After plans to bring Snoop Dogg to Colgate for Spring Party Weekend (SPW) were dropped early last week, an online selection process was held, in which Colgate students elected to have Wyclef Jean headline the annual event. Jean, commonly referred to as Wyclef, was easily the top choice, leading second pick Pitbull by 12 points.

The election was the result of fast action by several campus groups that looked for available artists who could meet Colgate’s budgetary and logistical needs for SPW.

“After hearing that the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) was no longer in charge of picking Snoop’s replacement, I sent an e-mail out to other student leaders to try to find a replacement act as quickly as possible,” former Student Committee on Providing Entertainment (SCOPE) president and co-founder of Broad Street Records senior Jake Epstein said.

These groups independently researched artists’ pricing and availability for April 24 and presented their findings at a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4. Representatives from CAB, Proto-Culture, WE FUNK, Inc., the SPW Taskforce, SCOPE, Broad Street Records and others discussed potential artists and compiled the final list for the ballot, ruling out performers such as Passion Pit, Shwayze, Ludacris and Akon.

“The meeting on Thursday was one of the best instances of student, inter-group collaboration I have ever participated in at Colgate and I am very proud to have been a part of it,” Epstein said. “Utilizing two lists of available artists, we went around the room, giving everyone an opportunity to express concerns about certain artists or to express special enthusiasm for particular artists. After collectively eliminating certain options and after getting the remaining artists approved by the administration, we narrowed it down to the list [students] saw on the portal.”

According to SPW Taskforce President senior Emily Rawdon, those at Thursday’s meeting had to make selections that would work for Colgate at this point in the process.

“The bottom line is this,” Rawdon said, “we wanted to be time efficient, fiscally responsible and get a show that is not only amazing, but that people will actually come out to see.”

“CAB will look to book the winning choice for the concert, if the artist is still available,” CAB student advisor senior Sam Levine said. “CAB will be reapplying [to the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC)] with a new proposal once we have the act secured, and will most likely apply with a collaborative proposal including the other student groups, as we did for the original show [plans].”

The actual ballot was hosted on the student portal by Student Government Association (SGA) and offered artists Wyclef Jean, Gym Class Heroes, Citizen Cope, Matisyahu, Fabolous, G Love and the Special Sauce and Trey Songz. Students could vote on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday until 11:59 p.m. and were allowed to pick two artists. According to Rawdon, approval from Colgate Risk Management, Campus Safety and the administration was obtained to prevent any complications like those that halted Snoop Dogg’s performance.

According to the SGA Elections summary on the portal, 1,918 students cast ballots. Based on the registrar’s most current data (2,799 enrolled undergraduates) from last semester, approximately 68.5 percent of Colgate students voiced their opinion on who should play at SPW.

Wyclef clearly led the group with 733 votes, followed by Pitbull who carried 506.

“It makes sense that he was picked,” Epstein said. “He was definitely the biggest name on the list.”

Levine acknowledged the name recognition factor in her own voting process.

“I chose to vote for Wyclef because I think his act would best fit the nature of our event; that weekend’s concert calls for a big name, a full band and as much good music as possible,” Levine said. “If we are able to book Wyclef, the concert will prove to be a great, full show of recognizable and quality songs.”

According to Levine, CAB contacted agents on Wednesday to book Wyclef for April 24 but warned that offices in New York City are closed due to snowstorms. Levine also said that CAB had begun preparing proposals for BAC.

“I’m hoping that this year’s process opens the door to the possibility of a collaborative effort between entertainment groups on campus to let students choose their artist,” Rawdon said.

According to Epstein and Levine, those prospects are certain.

“Collaboration among student groups will definitely happen in the future for SPW,” Epstein said. “Right now, there is a task force comprised of members of WRCU, CAB and SCOPE working on drafting an SGA proposal for how this will happen.”

“The new proposal for the selection process next year will most definitely include another campus-wide survey,” Levine said.