Undergraduate Student Government eased the transition from beaches to books last week with its very first Back to the Brook concert on the Staller Steps featuring popular ska band Reel Big Fish.
USG sold approximately 700 tickets for the Reel Big Fish concert, more than were sold for last semester’s White Panda concert.
“We’re trying to set a definite precedent for following administrations to pick up after us,” USG Treasurer Allen Abraham said. USG President Anna Lubitz and Abraham said this year’s USG administration is planning on raising the quality of events it hosts for SBU students.
The process of bringing Reel Big Fish to SBU began last May and was motivated in part by student feedback through polls and email surveys, Lubitz said.
“We’re always looking for student input on what they want to see on campus,” Lubitz said. She mentioned that students overwhelmingly responded to surveys with the desire for more concerts. “Ultimately it is up to the students, we want to encourage student suggestions. Students can come to the Student Activities Board meetings and get their voices out there.”
Abraham said that USG is currently talking with its booking agent in the hopes of hosting another music event on campus this semester.
“We’re looking to stay around the same price range,” Abraham said. This week’s Reel Big Fish concert cost USG approximately $40,000, which was a little more expensive than usual because of the outdoor venue.
Abraham said that the USG plans on scheduling lectures and another concert for this semester in addition to bringing in comedians for the spring semester. He also said that most of the year’s upcoming events will take place on weekends.
“It depends on what’s available in terms of booking space on campus, but we’re shooting for more weekend stuff,” Abraham said. “We’re happy to encourage even more weekend life activities on campus to try and take away the stigma of a backpack school, a suitcase school.”
Lubitz agreed, saying that USG wants to “enhance weekend life on campus and make students feel at home here.” She called the Back to the Brook concert a “really big footstep in the right direction to promote student life.”
The concert was held on Labor Day in an effort to help USG achieve its goal of enhancing student life.
“I think it was a big success,” Lubitz said. “I was very happy to see students have a good time. Seeing students having fun on campus at an event, that’s what it really should be about, the true college experience. The concert that we held exemplified that.”
Abraham agreed, saying he was “very satisfied with the outcome.”
“From the way Staller Steps had grass on it before and then how it was ripped up after,” Abraham said, mentioning how many students danced throughout the concert.
“It was comparable to the White Panda concert, because that was a crazy concert. I saw people having fun, genuinely having fun. That’s the first time I heard someone yell encore at a USG event.”
Lubitz and Abraham were satisfied with the student reaction from the concert, referencing the concert’s event page on Facebook, where students posted afterward to thank USG. Both Lubitz and Abraham are hoping future USG events will be as well-received by the student body.
“We’re here to represent the students,” Lubitz said. “It touches our hearts when ultimately students are happy.”