After falsely promising the student body a “free” Death Cab for Cutie concert, Associated Students has now admitted to jumping the gun.
Following the close of the Ultimate College Bowl – a national competition between college campuses to boost student voter registration – A.S. reported that UCSB registered the most voters in the country and had won a free concert from the UCB in the process. A.S. also quickly realized that additional funds would be necessary to put on the “free” performance, and the group scrambled to raise a total of $37,000.
One week later, the A.S. Program Board has learned that Berkeley actually won the Ultimate College Bowl and that Death Cab won’t be coming to UCSB any time soon.
It turns out A.S. called the game before the buzzer and announced UCSB the winner before voter registration results had been finalized. The contest’s Web site had shown UCSB leading and Kayleigh Barnes, Associated Students Program Board Concert Coordinator, said A.S. mistakenly believed the competition was over.
“The information that was released of UCSB being the winner of the Death Cab for Cutie concert came out before the results were final,” Barnes said.
For several days leading up to Election Day, the UCB scoreboard displayed UCSB as the winning university. On Nov. 5, UCSB had registered 10,658 students, while Berkeley trailed with 9,935 new registered voters.
However, the contest did not officially end until this Tuesday, one week after Election Day. As of Nov. 10 – the competition’s official conclusion date – over 3,000 remaining registrations had been added to Berkeley’s voter count.
The most recent numbers revealed UCSB had registered 53.85 percent of its student population with 11,353 voters while Berkeley pulled ahead with 12,392 voters, or 36.52 percent of its student body.
Jennifer Knox, the University of California Student Association organizing and communications director, had said she didn’t anticipate any sudden surge in Berkeley voters.
“The competition will formally end on Nov. 4 and that’s when the winner will be announced,” Knox said in an e-mail dated Oct. 28. “However, the last voter registration deadline is Oct. 28, so the scoreboard probably won’t change too much after this week.”
According to Corey Huber, A.S. external vice president for statewide affairs, the slim chance of the university regaining the prize hinges on Berkeley’s capacity to financially accommodate the “free” concert.
“Depending on Cal’s ability to come up with the necessary funds to host the concert, which is not likely, we would again be given access to having it at UCSB,” Huber said.
Despite A.S.’s misunderstanding, UCSB will still receive an acoustic concert from Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, for registering the highest percentage of students.
According to Barnes, the miscommunications and confusion should serve as an example for the future.
“A lesson should be learned on all parties’ parts to ensure accuracy of what is final,” Barnes said.