Overwhelming turnout is an opportunity for CUB

Let’s face it: There are a ton of misconceptions about the College’s student body being inactive and apathetic.

Prospective students and their parents always inquire if it’s true we’re a “suitcase school,” while many assume because we’re located in the middle of nowhere, students must go to another school on weekends or trek to New York City or Philadelphia for entertainment.

So, it came as a surprise last week when students came out in droves for not one, not two but three on-campus events, including two sponsored by the College Union Board (CUB).

On Tuesday, the Brower Student Center had standing-room only for the inauguration ceremony of President Barack Obama on the Student Center’s most recent addition, the projector.

On both Wednesday for Frank Warren of PostSecret’s visit and Friday for the Brand New concert, students lined up hours in advance in the cold to ensure they got a seat in the Kendall Hall Auditorium.

Maybe it was the election, maybe it’s the younger classes at the College who have a fresh and enthusiastic attitude toward student life, maybe it’s our improved Student Center, but whatever the reason, it’s terrific to see so many students show interest in such a diverse range of on-campus activities.

Although the suitcase school rumors and apathetic reputation of our student body are often exaggerated, it definitely was unexpected to see such a large showing at last week’s events.

Of course, with this surge of interest comes a new responsibility for our student leaders.

Planning activities that generate interest? Check.

Making sure the activities go smoothly sans any major catastrophes? Check.

Making sure everyone who wants to participate in said activities gets an opportunity to do so? Not so much.

Many students were turned away at the door both Wednesday and Friday nights, causing frustration with the way both events were handled.

Bitter students have since pointed out that CUB could have prevented the problem by selling tickets in advance.

Security could have been better utilized as well, as many students who arrived in line early found themselves pushed back further as place holders waited for friends to join them.

Granted, CUB probably didn’t anticipate such a large showing for either event and couldn’t adequately prepare. CUB Director Kat Gkionis explained that “Welcome Back Week Concert” tickets were never sold in advance before: They never needed to be.

While CUB should be proud that events it planned generated such a buzz on campus, the shutting out of some students presents an opportunity for CUB to respond and react appropriately for future events.

Going forward, let’s make sure our student body continues to be enthusiastic and active, giving our student leaders more reasons to plan great events for us. And student leaders (ahem, CUB): We’ll be looking forward to seeing you respond to the recent surge and continue to plan great events with an awesome turnout.

?? ?In the end, it’s a win-win for everyone.