Campus / News / February 28, 2008

Union Board tries new approach

Obtaining this year’s big event has become a major production for Union Board.

Upon receiving notice that scheduling conflicts made it impossible for their top two choices — The Village People and Ben Folds — to perform, Union Board adopted a new approach. Instead of inviting a single big name performer, the board has decided to try inviting several lesser-known performers to participate in the same show.

“Every day we have available, the Orpheum doesn’t,” said junior Alex Clark, Union Board coordinator.

“We’re back to the drawing board,” said senior Drew Flock, chair of the Union Board tech crew. “Trying to please everyone on campus is hard.”

Clark believes pleasing everyone will be easier with greater diversity of performances.

Although Clark specified nothing is definite at this point, Union Board is in the process of contacting potential musicians and comedians. Among their candidates is Hard n’ Phirm, the comedy duo that opened for Pablo Francisco at last year’s largest Union Board event.

“They have a much bigger act than what we saw last year,” said Clark. “[Approval for Hard n’ Phirm] was overwhelming. I didn’t hear a single negative response.”

Clark also said Union Board’s primary concern this year is to ensure the big event is not offensive, as Pablo Francisco’s routine was to many in last year’s audience. Clark said this will be accomplished, primarily by closely examining the styles and previous performances of the individuals and groups they invite.

“Hard and Phirm has been here before, so they know what the campus is like and what it’s responsive to,” Clark said.

Although the individual performers Union Board is now considering will not charge as much money as the bigger-names, Clark said Union Board will spend approximately the same amount of money on several small acts as it would on one large act.

Clark explained the board’s reason for focusing on musicians this year was Student Senate said it would like to see them organize a big musical act this year.

Although Senate has no final say in Union Board’s decision, Clark would like to satisfy the request by asking some musicians, in addition to comedians, to perform this year.

Clark is optimistic about what having multiple acts could do to boost interest in and approval of this year’s show.

“It’s the best way to appeal to the entire campus,” she said.

Erin Coleman

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