The Yale Student Activities Committee is in the final stages of selecting the performers for this year’s Spring Fling, but — notwithstanding a recent prank e-mail — the group is waiting to announce the performers until contracts are signed.
Spring Fling Coordinators Diego Iturbe ’09 and Carolyn Nguyen ’09 are scheduled to meet with Assistant Dean of Yale College Edgar Letriz on Friday to finalize the contracts before sending them to the artists’ publicity agencies, Iturbe said. Assuming the agents do not ask to make any changes to the contracts, he said, YSAC will release the artists’ names in about two weeks.
As it did with last year’s show, which featured Ludacris and Ben Folds, YSAC aimed to choose performers who appeal to students across the musical spectrum, Iturbe said.
“This year’s acts will represent a wide array of genres,” he said. “We want to present a dynamic show that will hopefully cover the musical tastes of a diverse campus.”
YSAC announced last year’s performers on April 4. Iturbe said YSAC cannot release the performers’ names until the final contracts have been signed because artists may refuse to perform if the news gets out before the contracts are completed.
“We keep the performers confidential to avoid potential legal and financial problems,” he said in an e-mail. “Confidentiality facilitates a) the deal not falling through and b) fulfilling contractual advertising clauses. It is simply a matter of professionalism.”
On Monday night, a prank e-mail purporting to be from the Yale College Council announced that Ricky Martin and the pop group Smash Mouth would perform at Spring Fling. Several hours later, the YCC sent out its own joke e-mail explaining that the first was a hoax and announcing that two groups — HIJK and Boards of Canada, a “Scottish electronic music duo” — were slated to perform.
YCC Vice President Steve Engler ’07 said the YCC sent the second e-mail through YaleStation as a lighthearted way of setting the record straight.
“I think [the first e-mail] was definitely funny,” he said. “I’m all for the pranks, but the only problem was that people didn’t realize that it was a joke and thought it was real and thought we’d sent it. People were just generally confused.”
The YCC e-mail account received dozens of angry messages Monday night and early Tuesday morning from students who were upset at the apparent selection of Martin and Smash Mouth, YCC Secretary Zach Marks ’09 said. In one e-mail, an angry senior wrote to YCC members that he had never been so disappointed with Yale.
“Every member of this council completely failed,” the e-mail said. “If this is true, I’m going to look you all up and make sure I have a chance to get back at you at some point in my life to make up for ruining my final spring fling in such a gross way.”
Stephanie Park ’08 said she was disappointed when she read the e-mail announcing Martin and Smash Mouth because she had not heard about the two artists “since middle school.” She said she hopes YSAC has chosen an artist who can produce an upbeat atmosphere, such as Snoop Dogg or Kanye West, both of whom were listed as potential performers on a YSAC Spring Fling poll last fall.
“The day before those e-mails went out, I was talking to someone on YSAC, and they told me that they were going to be announcing the person soon,” Park said. “So when those e-mails went out … I actually kind of believed it.”
YaleStation manager Will Tsui ’07 has contacted Information Technology Services in an effort to determine who sent the first e-mail, Engler said, but he does not know the status of the inquiry. The YCC has not yet decided what action it will take if it discovers the identity of the prank e-mailer, Engler said.
A representative from ITS said the department has traced the e-mail to a computer in the School of Architecture but has been unable to locate the exact computer. ITS currently has “no idea” who sent the e-mail but will continue to look into it, the representative said.
Tsui was not available for comment Wednesday night.
IvyGate blog reported on its Web site Tuesday the names of three undergraduate students who they said sent the prank e-mail. But the three students denied involvement, and last night IvyGate retracted its report.