Brookfest, budgets and bewilderment. The Student Activities Board of the Undergraduate Student Government, bombarded by issues, held its weekly meeting on Wednesday, discussing low sales, date changes and cancellations.
Only half the tickets for “USG Comedy Series Presents: Nasim Pedrad,” scheduled for Feb. 9, were sold by the time of the meeting.
“The comedy show has only sold about 50% at this point,” USG Vice President of Communications Brody Hooper said in an email. “We are strategizing on how to sell more tickets because we have exhausted all avenues at this point. We are looking into incentives but have not yet decided on any.”
Incentives discussed included t-shirts or signed posters, but nothing has been approved.
“Tickets are for sale for $5 on a first come, first serve basis at the SAC ticket office,” Hooper said. “On Thursday, they will go on sale for $15 to the public.”
Next on the agenda: Brookfest.
Originally scheduled for Friday, April 15, Brookfest has been moved to Wednesday, April 13 due to the Coachella weekend and student conflicts.
Most of the candidates that were on the poll of possible artists dropped negotiations because of the conflict with Coachella, a music and arts festival in California, according to USG Vice President of Student Life Fiqry Kleib.
“For example, Big Sean, when we offered him a bid, decided to pull out because Coachella weekend was that weekend,” Kleib said at the meeting. “And when we explored other options for the Friday the week after, that didn’t work out either because Coachella is two weeks.”
It was narrowed down to two dates: Wednesday, April 13 or Monday, April 18. However, because of a chemistry exam, SAB decided to go with April 13.
“We looked at a bunch of dates in the entire month of April, but there are a number of things scheduled at the [Island Federal Credit Union] arena,” USG Administrative Director Thomas Kirnbauer said. “We recognize the date isn’t ideal in general, but it seems to be when the arena was available that didn’t conflict with the students’ schedules.”
SAB would not disclose which artist its members were picking for Brookfest, but Hooper said they are choosing among “Big Sean, A$AP Rocky, Future, and Kid Cudi.”
The last topic that sparked major discussion was an event taking place on the night of Roth Regatta. The Graduate Student Organization (GSO), with the help of SAB, is deciding on a GSO lecture series presenter to take place in the Island Federal Credit Union Arena on April 29.
After the original lecturer, Seth Meyers, fell through due to personal family matters, SAB took a good chunk of the meeting discussing who could replace Meyers.
“So if it’s the arena, then this has to be someone who is going to bring 3,000 people,” SAB Treasurer Jason Mazza said.
“GSO was willing to spend $100,000 on Seth Meyers, so it’s not like we don’t have the money,” Kirnbauer said.
Previously, the board discussed Megyn Kelly as a replacement.
“I know that some of us have our reservations on what she stands for and how she’s very polarizing in terms of her political fans,” Kleib said.
“But I think we came to the conclusion that Megyn Kelly isn’t a good fit for this campus,” Kirnbauer said. “You don’t want to choose anybody too polarizing, so it’s either about finding someone a little bit cheaper who may not be as polarizing or trying to find someone who fits into the ideology.”
“The whole point of us not getting someone polarizing is because we are attaching our name to this even though we’re only paying for venue and pricing, but it’s the symbolism,” Kleib said.
That’s when the board members started to list names. Trevor Noah: turned them down. Stephen Colbert: too expensive. Jimmy Fallon: beyond the budget. James Corden: not political enough.
“The GSO is looking for political,” Kirnbauer said. “Whether that person makes the crowd laugh or makes the crowd think.”
The board seemed stumped.
“Can we do a poll?” Hooper said. “Even if it’s not a poll of names, it’s a poll of: would you rather see science, business … .”
The board seemed to agree.
“I’ll respond to the GSO with that,” Kirnbauer said.
Featured Image Credit: Stony Brook Undergraduate Student Government