Snoop Dogg SPW Concert Canceled

Snoop Dogg SPW Concert Canceled

After reviewing security provisions and logistical concerns related to Snoop Dogg’s scheduled appearance during Spring Party Weekend (SPW), University administrators decided to cancel plans to bring the rapper to campus.

The final decision was made on Monday afternoon, at a meeting attended by Vice President and Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Scott Brown, Risk Management and Endowment Coordinator Andrew Fagon, Director of the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI) Julie DiTrapano, Associate Director of CLSI Tennille Haynes and Assistant Dean for Campus Life Fouad Saleet. Students involved in the planning of the concert, including members of the Colgate Activities Board (CAB), were informed on Tuesday morning.

According to Brown, the decision was made due to the security problems with accommodating the large crowd that Snoop would likely attract.

“It has nothing to do with the type of performer that [Snoop is],” Brown said. “He is a big name, and he would attract a whole lot of people from a whole lot of demographics.”

After discussing the logistics of the concert with Campus Safety, as well as other universities – such as Cornell and Syracuse – that have hosted Snoop, administrators looked at how they would address crowd control. When constructing temporary fencing around Whitnall Field, the traditional location for the SPW concert, was deemed insufficient, Sanford Field House was considered as a possible location. However, even with a ticketing system resembling that of the Global Leaders Lecture Series, administrators felt there would be no way to stop people who didn’t have tickets from still trying to attend the event.

“Our big concern was controlling what happens when people don’t get in,” Brown said. “It was very likely that people from all over were planning on coming to this – to drive a few hours to see a big name seems reasonable to a lot of people.”

Brown also stressed that the small size of both Campus Safety and the Hamilton Police Department could pose logistical problems with policing the event.

“We don’t have the capabilities that schools like Cornell and Syracuse do [to police these type of events],” Brown said. Although CAB went before the Student Government Association (SGA) Senate last week to acquire additional funding for security, the administration felt this was still insufficient. According to Brown, the fees embedded in Snoop’s contract covered some security for the concert itself, but they did not account for security involved in policing the influx of large crowds into the village. However, Brown stressed that safety, not cost, was the administration’s priority in making the decision.

“Our big question was, ‘are we able as an institution to handle an act this size?'” Brown said. “We just don’t have the infrastructure. To have the crowd that an act of this magnitude would bring would overwhelm us.”

In the weeks before the decision was made to cancel the concert, CAB had been renegotiating security details, as well as working with African, Latin, Asian and Native American Cultural Center (ALANA) student ambassadors and Students for Sensible Drug Policy to arrange a question and answer session with Snoop on the day of the concert.

CAB student advisor senior Sam Levine expressed her disappointment with the cancellation.

“Despite the now lost hours that went into planning this project, I think the most disappointing aspect of this situation has been the self-defined limitations that the administration shared on programming planning here at Colgate,” Levine said. “We’re so lucky to have an incredibly motivated group of student leaders, a passionate team of CLSI staff and a student body who loves to boogie down, yet we seem to be inherently limited. This is indeed the hardest pill to swallow.”

Brown stressed hopes that the security issues of bringing big-name acts to campus would be considered earlier in future event plans.

“We really appreciate and respect the amount of work that has gone into this,” Brown said. “Students have been incredibly helpful in finding a way to make this work, and we understand the disappointment.”

CAB is currently working with the SPW Task Force and other student groups to survey student interest in alternative acts.