Monday morning, the daily campus “norm,” the image of too many students tiredly carrying their bags to class, was interrupted by an estimated 474-foot line of anticipatory students waiting for tickets to see Lupe Fiasco and Three 6 Mafia perform at the Homecoming Kickoff concert.
Eager students skipped classes and took turns waiting in line while friends went on food runs and waited long hours for the opportunity to see the two acclaimed artists perform at the Moby Arena in October.
Eight thousand tickets for the concert were available starting at 8 a.m. at the Campus Box Office, located in the Lory Student Center. All of the 1,200 floor-level seat tickets were given out by 12:30 p.m.
Students in line between the high-volume hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. reported waiting an average of one hour and 45 minutes. At its maximum length, the line stretched nearly to the Morgan Library entrance under the red abstract sculpture.
Jamie Rabkin, a freshman social work major, waited an hour and a half to get her floor seat, only to find out that she was scheduled to be in Pennsylvania the day of the concert.
“I’m going to cancel my trip,” she said. “If that doesn’t work, I’m going to sell it at least.”
Close by, Ben Hickey, a freshman open-option major, didn’t care how long he waited for tickets because in the end it was “worth it.”
“I had to wait forever, but it’s worth it,” he said. “I’ve never seen [Three 6 Mafia] live, and now I get to go for free!”
Not all students were as tolerant of the long wait times, and some said that the overall process was “inefficient.”
“If they aren’t going to increase the line capacity, they should have had students print their tickets on-line,” said Serah Tanno, a senior zoology major. “They should really be asking how many students are skipping class to do this.”
Delight shot through the line as students commented on their opportunities to attend the concert for free.
With an approximate $110,000 price tag, $70,000 coming from student fees, the concert is not free.
Last spring, Taylor Smoot, president of Associated Students for CSU, and Quinn Girrens, ASCSU vice president, heavily incorporated the Homecoming concert as a basis for their campaign platform.
“I want this to be the start of a long-standing Homecoming tradition,” Smoot said. “I see this as an opportunity for campus unity.”
“In the future, I hope that the concert will foster competition between artists so that students will continue to see big names on campus,” he added. After clenching the victory last spring, Smoot brought the 2008-2009 budget to the table and lobbied the Student Fee Review Board for an increase in student fees to pay for the concert.
The fee increase was initially presented as part of an increase to the ASCSU budget when the responsibility of campus-event planning rests on the shoulders of Associations for Student Activity Programming. Because ASAP did not initiate this request, qualms formed in the minds of SFRB members.
“Most simply, the conflict the board saw was that ASCSU was doing what ASAP should,” said Seth Walter, former SFRB member.
A week later, the money was re-named as a request from ASAP, and this was determined acceptable by the board. After the SFRB and CSU System Board of Governors approved this change, a student fee increase of $1.56 a student went to the Lory Student Center student fee area and was allocated accordingly.
ASAP, a branch of the LSC, is taking $40,000 from their annual budget of approximately $350,000 to pay for construction of the performance stage, production and marketing costs.
Bringing the artists to campus began with a selection process in late April, after Smoot and Quinn won the election.
Because of time constraints, ASAP said the office was unable to survey students as they initially hoped. Instead, a 20-member committee, made up of three current and six past ASAP members, six students at large and five ASCSU members, deliberated over the artist selection for six hours.
“The only adequate way to represent the students is to send out a survey to 5,000,” said Mary Branton-Housley, assistant director of Campus Activities and advisor to ASAP. “If I had to put 20 people in a room to make this decision ,though, [the 20] are the best representation I could find.”
“Everyone was given a round-a-bout budget, but we were told to just focus on the artists,” said Ben Schrader, a student member of the committee. “We put up a list of really diverse groups that represented all genres, and from there we narrowed it down to our top 15 and then our top five.”Jack Johnson, the number-one pick, was unavailable. Lupe Fiasco and Three 6 Mafia together were number two.
Once decided, Branton-Housley made calls to the artists’ agents and booked them for the concert.
Moby Arena will open Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. and the show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
ASCSU beat writer Madeline Novey can be reached at email@example.com.