I’m a little upset. No… I’m really upset.
On Saturday night, I planned to go see one of my favorite underground emcees – Sage Francis – at the Hub. I get back from work, hop into the shower, jump into new clothes and bike my ass over to the middle of campus. On my way, I see circles of freshmen newbies trying to figure out what to do, overwhelmed with the crazy Isla Vista scene that surrounds them. As I ride past them, I’m thinking about how it sucks to leave I.V., but that it’s worth it to see this show. I was told the show ended at 1:00 a.m., and, knowing Sage typically plays a two-hour set, I got there a little after 11.
To my surprise, when I arrive, a Community Service Organization officer opens the door and says, “You can’t come in. We stop letting people in at 11 p.m.” I’m a little upset at this point. In the background, I hear one of my favorite emcees rapping, and I have this yellow-shirted, flashlight-holding wannabe cop telling me I can’t come in. I asked him the obvious question: “Why 11? Let me speak to your manager.”
His response: “Because that’s the rule.” And the yellow-shirted, flashlight-holding wannabe cop went and got someone from A.S. Program Board to tell me the same thing.
To cut to the chase, I didn’t get into the show and now I’ve decided to give my two cents to the program board about the five biggest things they do that piss me off. To the program board:
First of all, you have the potential to pull a large number of students away from the uncontrolled I.V. party scene into a fun, safe and social venue like the Hub… but, you close your doors to those who want to come at 11 p.m. People are just leaving their houses to head to other I.V. parties at 11 p.m. You are not going pull in very large crowds if you do not provide a legitimate opportunity for students to spend a full night out of I.V. You are one of the few organizations that has this potential.
Your second problem: For the big chunk of students’ money you spend to get emcees like Sage Francis from Rhode Island or Brother Ali from the Twin Cities to come out here and play shows, you do a terrible job promoting these events. I didn’t see any posters or flyers advertising Sage Francis or Brother Ali at local restaurants, in I.V. or on the bike path on my way to school – nada. If you’re going to spend the time, the energy and, most importantly, the students’ money, at least promote your events so that everyone knows about them. That means something other than a Facebook event invitation. Get people passing out flyers and spreading the word.
Third, don’t end the events early or close the fucking doors at 11 p.m. Totally lame! People won’t come if they know the events are going to end early.
Fourth, for the sake of the artist, don’t ever do a Friday night hip hop show on the San Miguel front lawn like you did for Brother Ali. Who wants to spend a Friday night out in the cold on San Miguel’s front lawn? Seriously.
Fifth, start planning for Extravaganza now so that we get some decent artists this year. And more importantly, get like, 100 more CSO officers to frisk people coming in so the lines aren’t so freaking long.
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to hear that the program board is bringing some good hip hop to this campus; without the Associated Students Program Board, we would not see much of the music that we see here. They help put on way more events than I will ever go to. But, all I am asking is for our hard-earned money to be spent effectively for our benefit. The point of this letter is not to rag on ASPB, but instead to inspire them to get into gear. Make this a good year, and change that stupid rule that you don’t let people in after 11 p.m.