They might actually be listening to us.
After years of student complaints — ranging from “It’s the weekend before finals!” to “Can we get some different music?” — we will finally be doing away with Reggaefest. For this year, at least. The ASUCI Student Services Vice President’s office decided to change the spring music festival to an earlier week with a different genre of entertainment. Reggaefest will be replaced with another music event to take place in Week 8, with talent from the “indie” music variety. This decision came after results from a survey distributed to the student body about the ASUCI hosted music festival. According to Student Services VP Dominique Doan, approximately 800-1000 students responded to the survey in which 80 percent of students expressed they did not want to attend the event, and 40 percent stating that they did not want to go because the event is in week 10. While we can’t say we find these numbers surprising, they might be indicative of a heretofore-unheard-of trend for this campus: the opinion of the student body has incited change.
Last year, Reggaefest saw a very small turnout with only 300 people in attendance. For an event of this size that is free of charge for UCI students, that number is dismal. We all hear the endless banter about how UCI music festivals need more genre diversity and that UCI students don’t really care about Reggaefest, and we’re happy to see that it (looks like) the ASUCI Office of Student Services is listening, too. And that’s fantastic news, but, cynical journalists that we are, we’re leaning toward a state of cautious optimism about this spring festival facelift.
If this tentative spring festival DOES come at a more opportune time and best serves their musical desires, then we are all for it. We would love to see a new approach to this event, and while we weep for Reggae enthusiasts (the radio doesn’t give you much love, but let’s face facts — you’re a pretty niche genre) that look forward to Reggaefest annually, it might be best for UCI students that we get rid of it all together. Student fees should not be wasted on events that they have no interest in attending, so changing this event to cater to their interests is a good move. The more all-inclusive the genre or theme of the event’s entertainment, the more students are likely to get their money’s worth.
But let’s not take things too far — we don’t want to see our money going toward really unnecessary gimmicks to get students excited. Spending money on an awesome indie band? Yes. Spending money on carnival rides? Maybe — I mean, if you’re into the Coachella feel, I guess a ferris wheel would be cool, but is it worth it if you have to front the bill? Spending on free “swag?” No thanks. The last thing this campus needs is more money wasted on decals that’ll wind up in the trash can and commemorative pencils that vanish inside our book bags. And imagine all the money ASUCI spends on custom t-shirts for events that they put on — let’s not add this event onto their wardrobe reel. Free stuff is always cool and bro-tank connoisseurs will be left without an opportunity to add to their collection, but the Office of Student Services isn’t exactly in the position to be spending frivolously. Remember Shocktoberfest?
What this festival represents is an opportunity for student spirit, for Anteaters to come together and feel that sense of accomplishment in an informal setting. So let’s stick to the basics — make it fun for everyone, and just get us some solid entertainment and the line up out earlier than two days before the event.
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