The Student Activities Council’s (SAC) annual Fall concerts are the most anticipated events of the year, the source of our biggest entertainment experiences each year and the most expensive expenditure on SAC’s to-do list.
This past December, Northwest students were awarded the Chase Rice concert, who is our biggest headliner to date. The “Lambs & Lions Tour” student anticipation was unprecedented as many students and community members are fans of the popular country singer. Yet only an estimate 15 percent of the student population and 737 community members actually attended the concert.
We question if the $128,110 spent on the event could go to better use in the future? As we know, Northwest is not a huge school. With only 6,485 enrolled students, we may never be able to book major musical artists, considering the concert fund comes from an activities fee added to tuition per credit hour, and major performers can be extremely expensive.
SAC has made progressive efforts to appeal to everyone with surveys of approved artist to vote for, and even combining the fall and spring concert budget to provide more money for one concert, with a bigger headliner. While the musical concerts would definitely be missed, a variety of other cheaper entertainers could be beneficial and result in higher attendance rates of the events.
SAC provides exciting events throughout the year, for example, the ice skating rink in late October and plenty of grocery bingos that everyone loves. By adding to these events with a lineup of comedians, dancers or other artist performers, we could bring a new effect to the concert budget.
While making a profit is not the goal of the annual concerts, providing events that may have a higher attendance rate will give students their money’s worth. Exploring this new option is not to diminish the hard efforts of our student leaders of SAC, but instead to broaden our choices and make good use of the budgeted fund.
Though it’s good to include the community, a more student-tailored option may help to satisfy those who feel the concerts are not effective and doesn’t include artist everyone are familiar with. Pleasing everyone is not possible, but providing more favorable events can build participation.