Snoop Dogg to Play at SPW

Snoop Dogg to Play at SPW

After months of research and student polling, the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) has decided to bring famed rapper Snoop Dogg to campus for this year’s Spring Party Weekend (SPW) concert. Although a contract has yet to be signed, Snoop is the group’s top choice to headline the traditional Saturday afternoon show on Whitnall Field.

Since CAB did not receive its usual $100,000 budget this year, the group was required to go through the Budget Allocations Committee (BAC) to receive all funding. This year, CAB requested $105,930 to put on the SPW concert. In past years, this concert has been funded by CAB’s budget as well as by funding through the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI).

“The number [the price of the concert on the proposal] itself is very inflated versus past years, because

we have used our own budget versus what we got from the BAC,” CAB Music executive chair senior Dan Lasker said. “It’s not that Snoop’s artist fee is double, it’s just that we didn’t have our own money. It’s the same amount of money [as spent in previous years], it’s just coming from different places.”

CAB members spent the first two months of the fall semester formulating a list of potential acts for SPW, looking for artists who would appeal to a wide base of students but still fall within a reasonable price range.

“We look at reviews from other schools, YouTube videos of campus performances, anyone that’s written things online, and that’s taken into consideration for the list,” CAB student advisor senior Sam Levine said.

During the week of November 8, CAB members surveyed students in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) to gauge which acts the student body would most want to see. Students were asked to rank their top three choices from a list of eight acts. 165 people responded to the survey, with Snoop Dogg coming in first, followed by OAR and Vampire Weekend. Students were also asked if they would prefer one concert performed by a well-known act, or two concerts with two lesser-known artists. Voters overwhelmingly preferred to have a single, big name act.

CAB then brought their proposal to the BAC, who approved the allocation with a six-to-one vote. However, since the amount of money requested exceeded more than 7 percent of the semester’s budget, the proposal also required Student Government Association (SGA) Senate approval. On December 1, members of both BAC and CAB went before the Senate, who then unanimously approved the proposal.

Following the Senate passage, senior Will Plaehn and sophomores Myung-Jin Lee and Dylan Levene, who were unhappy with the high price tag of the concert, decided to contest the decision by creating and circulating a petition.

“As a diverse group of students, we are not affiliated with any particular group but are concerned with the high cost of the concert,” Levene and Plaehn wrote in an e-mail to the Maroon-News. “The petition was intended to measure student interest in bringing a significantly less expensive act.”

The petition, which accrued approximately 565 signatures, was circulated in the week after the BAC approved CAB’s proposal. While Lee, Levene and Plaehn suggested alternative plans to CAB, they are primarily concerned with the expense of the concert rather than bringing a particular act to campus.

Following SGA’s unanimous passage of CAB’s proposal, the petitioners were invited to attend the final SGA Senate meeting of the semester and contest the allocation. In order for the decision to be reversed, the Senate would have to vote with a 2/3 majority to overturn their previous vote. However, the petitoners decided not to attend the meeting.

“The petition had only been in circulation for two days at the time of the last SGA meeting. We did not want to waste the senators’ time with an incomplete effort, and felt the best approach was to work directly with CAB toward an alternative plan,” Levene said.

Plaehn and Levene expressed that they are now concentrating on amending the artist selection process for future SPWs.

Although those involved in concert planning chose not to act on the results of the petition for SPW 2010, they recognized the need for a policy that ensures complete representation of the student body for their concert selection process,” Levene and Plaehn said. “In the upcoming months we will be working to ensure that this policy is in place for future SPW concerts.”

Meanwhile, CAB is working to finalize the logistics of the concert. Since a contract has yet to be signed and there are security provisions to work out, Snoop’s appearance on Whitnall Field in April is still pending.

“Our priority is having a fun, safe concert, and if any of that gets compromised, that’s when we need to start rethinking,” Levine said.

“We’re not dedicated to putting this through no matter how complicated or expensive it becomes,” CAB intern junior Ceci Manchetti added. “There are other options that we can pursue.”