Bringin’ the music to the people

So Rihanna, with her Grammy, her host of hits, her multi-million album sales and her $126,000 price tag, will not grace the humble stage of the Student Recreation Center. But perhaps it’s for the best.

Certainly, it would have been exciting for the College to host a wildly popular artist and break a string of big concerts featuring white guys. But these possibilities haven’t been eliminated by Rihanna’s rejection.

Rihanna also would have garnered good publicity and bragging rights for the College, but the rewards of her performance were debatable. There has to be a balance between quality, price and the weight of a big- name performance.

As a result of Rihanna denying the College Union Board’s (CUB) bid, CUB has opened up the decision to the students. They did the same thing last year when students helped select Third Eye Blind, a concert that drew a crowd of 2,000 – the largest in five years. Democracy sometimes works, it seems. It also seems a balance can be achieved.

To CUB’s credit, they have compiled a great list of artists for students to choose from. It is refreshing to see an impressive mix of inspired hip hop, R&B and alternative rock artists to choose from – a variety that has likely sparked the interest of students.

According to Katerina Gkionis, CUB director, 1,600 people voted in the first survey sent out to College students Nov. 13. As of Monday afternoon, 1,300 students voted with 10 hours remaining before the survey closed. Continuing the trend established by the recent Presidential Election, College students continue to buck the long-affixed label of apathetic.

Gkionis and CUB have taken a potentially disasterous situation and are seeking a positive outcome. Planning a massive, multi-thousand dollar event is a large undertaking. CUB has recovered quickly from what could have been a major setback and is prepared to go through the difficult process of bringing another musician to the College. In the process, they have proven that letting students have more discretion in how their tuition dollars are spent is effective.

Through the fallout of Rihanna’s rejection of CUB’s bid, solid solutions have emerged as the direct result of CUB’s diligence and students’ willingness to voice their opinions. Hopefully this trend will continue.