Tag Archive: Spring Fling

  1. YCC budget shows rise in Spring Fling costs

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    The Yale College Council finalized the details last month of its roughly $380,000 budget for this academic year.

    This year, YCC revenue consists of last year’s $42,783 surplus, a $40,000 grant for Spring Fling and funding through the Student Activities Fee amounting to $297,375. In sum, the budget is approximately $20,000 larger than it was last year. Spring Fling alone takes up about 78 percent of the total budget.

    But while Spring Fling is the single largest event hosted by the YCC annually, the council is looking to put the remaining portion of the budget toward more community-focused initiatives, including the Campus Events Fund and the Community Fund. While many budget lines stayed the same over last year, Spring Fling funding increased by roughly $21,000. Still, the percentage of the budget set aside for Spring Fling remained the same, said YCC Events Director Lauren Sapienza ’18. Sapienza added that because more students attended Spring Fling last year and may again this year, greater security measures are needed to keep up with the volume of attendance.

    The Spring Fling fund pays not only for the artists’ booking fees, but also for the costs of Spring Fling security and set production. The exact amounts paid to each artist cannot be released due to privacy agreements, Sapienza said, adding that talent costs increase steadily regardless of whether the act’s popularity has increased. This rise in cost was covered in part by the 2015 increase in the Student Activities Fee from $75 to $125 per student.

    YCC Finance Director Zach Murn ’17 said the YCC Events Committee kept its budget the same as last year, as they had spent precisely what they were allocated. Murn added that the YCC aimed to pass the budget as smoothly as possible.

    “We wanted to pass the budget at our first [budget] meeting to make financial planning more straightforward and efficient,” Murn said.

    However, not all proceeds from the expanded SAF went toward Spring Fling. YCC President Peter Huang ’18 noted that the Yale College Dean’s Office allocated other parts of the SAF to the Undergraduate Organizations Committee, which will reallocate the money to student groups in the form of administrative, event or publication grants. The total funds available from the SAF depend on the number of students who enroll at Yale each academic year.

    Murn said that the Spring Fling Committee requested an increase in funding relative to last year. Murn also cited a “notable increase” in attendance relative to that of previous years — over 7,000 people attended Spring Fling last year. The YCC has also commissioned a student research team that will analyze and compare revenues and expenditures of student governments from other Ivy League schools in order to determine whether an additional increase in the SAF would be necessary in the near future, he said.

    Already, the YCC is aware of a significant difference: Unlike similar events at other schools, Yale’s Spring Fling does not charge admission, which is a source of revenue for other student governments to cover costs.

    “We feel strongly that Yale parties should be as open and as inclusive to everyone,” said Murn. “So we don’t generate revenues from ticket sales, which might create a dynamic of who can afford to go to Spring Fling and who can’t.”

    While Spring Fling occupies much of YCC’s budget, the remaining 22 percent of the budget funds all the other YCC initiatives the council is seeking to bolster. Around $18,500 goes toward the Community Fund, which includes the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Class Councils, the Yale Society Initiative — an organization of undergraduates and alumni that aims to reform senior societies — and the recently created New Ideas Fund. Each class council receives $3,500 to fund events such as Freshman Screw, Freshman Barbecue, Sophomore Crush and Box Night. The New Ideas Fund, which is $6,600, will ideally be distributed at a rate of $1,000 to $1,500 per approved student idea, said YCC Student Life Director Nicolas Zevallos ’19.

    According to Sapienza, the over $55,000 Campus Events Fund will cover events throughout the semester, such as Hoedown, the Taste of New Haven Workshops and study breaks. The YCC’s budget approval process also involves a system of internal checks to ensure each year’s budget fairly distributes funding to all parts of the YCC.

    “If the council isn’t happy with how the finance director divided up funds, representatives can request changes. For example, this year, the representatives petitioned for our New Ideas Fund, which was not on the original budget but which was subsequently added before it passed the council vote,” said YCC Vice President Christopher Bowman ’18.

    All YCC bodies affected by budgetary decisions, including the class councils and various committees, are included in budget conversations to make sure funds are allocated with as much responsibility and fairness as possible, said Bowman.

    Last year’s Spring Fling headliner was the singer Janelle Monáe.

  2. Sneakers and Seders

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    Dear Rebecca,

    I can’t handle this weather. The daily fluctuations are so extreme that I end up sweating by the end of the day even if I’m cold in the morning. How will I know what to wear to Spring Fling?


    Frazzled Fashionista


    Dear FF,

    I’m honored you turned to me to ask this question, instead of to your favorite fashion blog. I can definitely give you a great answer, because I’m from Cleveland, and the weather in Cleveland fluctuates far more than it does here. It’s so bad, that we typically get snow in April — oh, wait, we just had snow in New Haven this week. Well, whatever. Here are my tips for dressing for an uncertain Spring Fling.

    Next Saturday, we’ll be outside all day. As of press time, Weather.com predicts that the weather will be a partly-sunny 66 degrees, with 10 percent chance of precipitation. I’ll cross my fingers that ends up happening, but the weather forecast often lies — and as we saw this week, torrential rain gives no warning. You might be able to depend the liquor jacket you’ve pieced together by mid-afternoon, but you want to be dressed appropriately from the first pre-game on.

    First of all, you need to carefully consider your footwear. (How will you write 65 pages of final papers if you have blisters everywhere?) If you spent your high school summers listening to Nashville’s biggest stars serenading the crowds at outdoor arenas, then you’ve probably learned that the best choice for any outdoor concert is sneakers. Rainboots could work if it’s at all muddy, but your feet and legs will be super sweaty. The cooler your kicks are, the more points you get in my book. Either way, make sure that you don’t mind your shoes getting trampled.

    Beyond that, wear something that might help people spot you in a crowd. You’ll be doing yourself and your friends a favor. Last year, I spent all of Macklemore’s set being sad that I was alone, only to realize that one of my best friends was right in front of me. Had she been wearing a more colorful outfit, maybe I would have seen her there.

    I typically go with a monotone bottom (shorts or a skirt, pants would be too hot) with a fun shirt on top. Freshman year, I wore a belly-dancer shirt, which you would not be remiss in equating with a body-sized jingling dog collar. This was really helpful because my friends could hear the melody of the metal coins hitting each other during the lull between sets and find me. Last year, I wore a top that I can’t really describe, beyond the fact that it was beaded with sequins and from China. Over it, I wore a fur-lined denim vest. Neither covered my belly button , but I don’t think that mattered. The denim vest, one of my trademarks, couldn’t be missed. Look for pictures on Facebook.

    The bottom line is that next Saturday’s weather really doesn’t matter. Your primarily goal in dressing for Spring Fling is finding an outfit that will be remembered, and that will help you stay with your friends. If you succeed, you’ll be able to spot yourself in the pictures taken from stage.

    Look for me in my gold sneakers,



    Dear Rebecca,

    It’s Passover, and I was doing really well with my Myrtle diet. How can I observe the holiday without backtracking all the way to my pre-New Year’s resolution lifestyle?

    Matza Molly


    Dear MM,

    Unfortunately, as with most Jewish holidays, the focus of Passover ends up being on food — even when almost everything that we’re allowed to eat seems inedible.

    One of my friends calls Passover food “fake food,” and I think she’s right. The main food groups for the holiday seem to be carbs, eggs, and foam. And at Slifka, the chefs seem to have mastered the ability to remove the nutritional from even the vegetables they serve.

    I’m not about to give you advice on dieting, though I’m enticed to suggest you try subsisting on smoothies and fruit for the remainder of the holiday.

    I will suggest that instead of focusing on how upset you are about what food you’re being forced to put in your body, you focus on the other meaning of the holiday. Passover is all about freedom, right? So free yourself from the peer pressure of working towards that Myrtle body and remember that your ancestors were slaves in the land of Egypt. The rules set for Passover are the reminders of even greater limitations. And though you might be working like a slave through reading week, at least you’re not being forced to build the pyramids.

    You’re free to reject society’s expectations for you, and use this time to reset those you have for yourself. Instead of working towards a Myrtle body, or even cramming for a perfect grade, remember you have the freedom to aspire to whatever you want. After eight days of constipating and flavorless meals, maybe we’ll all be able to see this more clearly.

    Between now and then, I’ll see you at lunch in Slifka for some passover potato pasta.

    Yours in carbs and eggs,



    Have more questions?

    Email WKNDanswers@gmail.com or submit them anonymously here.

  3. A Mild Case of EDM

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    David Rudnick ’09, former host of some of Yale’s best parties, once told me he’d almost managed to get Justice for a concert in the Davenport dining hall, back when they were DJ-famous but not yet hipster-famous. He thought as many as 400 people might have come.

    That was in another era, before Sonny Moore was Skrillex, before Steve Angello started Swedish House Mafia, before Calvin Harris could sell out stadiums. This year, Yale has almost as many Soundcloud DJs as we do rock bands, and I’ve heard more electro than rap in the TD gym. A brand-name DJ’s appearance would be a Spring-Fling-level spectacular, but in my time, that hasn’t happened.

    Instead, YCC puts money into T-Pain and Macklemore, leaving EDM fans with the likes of 3LAU and RL Grime. Still, this is almost certainly the right decision. When we pay T-Pain, we pay for backup dancers and champagne showers and t-shirts thrown into the audience — and most of all, the famous name. But we can’t afford Calvin Harris, or anyone else Yale has heard of. Swapping Mr. Grime for someone pricier but still barely known (Steve Aoki, perhaps, or Wolfgang Gartner) would add thousands of dollars to Spring Fling’s price tag for a DJ most of us would still see as “random guy pushing buttons”.

    Besides, do Yalies really care about electronic music? We might listen to it, but another thing about DJs is that they can all play the tracks we love; you’ll see 3LAU throwing down Avicii (and Carly Rae Jepsen), while Macklemore is unlikely to drop “Niggaz in Paris.”  Few of us know enough to derive pleasure from a specific mixing style, or a clever reference to some British hit from the ’90s. Is a live DJ any more than an excuse for us to dance outside to the same songs we hear in Toad’s?

    Judging by our showing at Electro last Saturday night, it’s hard to tell. Most of the six DJs in Commons played awesome sets, but without ever straying from the pattern of Top-40 pop layered over Top-40 dance. The crowd size never topped 400, and stayed under 100 for the first hour. Almost everyone missed Thomas Rokholt, whose funky, skeletal house was a fun exception to this night of rave.

    Fortunately, those who came had the floor to themselves, and a few took full advantage of the space. The beginning of a concert is always high-variance, as the cool WYBC kids stand around with their arms crossed and the DJ’s friends spin around in circles and reenact “Stomp the Yard” on their personal patches of dance floor, as though they’d pregamed with Red Bull and Skittles. As a reporter, my dancing was limited by my note-taking, but I got the chance to appreciate YCC’s ridiculously crisp sound system, helped along by a pretty sweet Commons echo. Also, there were lasers, which we trot out several times each year, but which never cease to look awesome (note to fellow laser-lovers: If you just stand there and stare up at the beam with your mouth hanging open, someone will eventually knock you over).

    Actually, except for the fog machine, which seemed to emit smoke early on, leaving the left side of the room to choke on fumes for half an hour, this was a near-perfect night. I couldn’t make out even a minor mixing mistake, and after an hour of stillness, the floor picked up speed around 11:30. The DJs were fans of each other (lots of hugs between sets), had fans among the student body (several people took turns holding a “We Love You Nick!” sign for the second man up), and even turned out not to be a boys’ club when a woman came on and spun for a while. There was also diversity among the dancers: While Yale parties follow the Pareto principle (20% of the moves are adopted by 80% of the people), students closer to the outskirts tried everything from T. Rex arms to finger-waggling (think “invisible rave piano”). My favorite group was an all-male kick line, whose members resembled a tipsy Riverdance audience getting their Irish on in the parking lot after the show.

    And though I remained rhythmically limited by my role as a hired stalker (some people call them “reporters”), listening was often pleasure enough. Best moments of the night: extra percussion thrown over Alesso’s remix of “Pressure”; the word “slizzard” in “Like a G6”; and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” decades older than anything else on the floor, swirling up like a joyful ghost.

    (Worst moments of the night: “Sexy and I Know It” getting cut before the chorus; the “My Humps” vocal dominating the mix for nearly two minutes; and every other word in “Like a G6”.)

    But even in the night’s least tasteful moments, Yalies danced. Whoever RL Grime is, we’ll do the same for him. Get enough of us together, and we’d rock out to the Cha-Cha Slide. (If I’m ever called upon to DJ a Yale dance, this will be my secret weapon.) And though we may not know the difference between a sampler and a sample platter, we know how to have a good time, and that’s what electro is all about.

  4. Anti-Fling, Against Itself

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    It doesn’t take much to get someone to Toad’s. Past a certain point on Saturday night, it exerts some abnormal gravity over us, and we’re drawn like moths to a flame. It’s understandable: booze, dancing, friends; there’s plenty to be said for Toad’s.

    Which is why I was so mystified to see the dance floor half-empty last Friday night at the start of WYBC’s annual Anti-Fling concert. The throngs that usually spill into the bar area were instead confined to a knot pressed up against the stage, bouncing along to a killer set by a freshman DJ. Despite a strong lineup, an evening of live music and — maybe most importantly — a free open bar, Anti-Fling was decidedly off the beaten path.

    I’d realized this, to some extent, earlier in the night. My suggestions to check out the free show had been met with blank stares all evening: “Anti-what?” Plenty of people had no idea about the event, and would have remained oblivious if not for my intervention. Everyone I told about Anti-Fling was instantly sold — an open bar will do that — and their enthusiasm for what promised to be a great night was matched only by their confusion as to why they hadn’t heard about it.

    I have a radio show, as you may have guessed from the fact that I self-indulge in a music column, and I had the distinct feeling that Anti-Fling was a show for radio, by radio, for the cool kids and by the cool kids. Let’s start with the name: Calling the concert “Anti-Fling” makes it nothing more than the opposite of everyone else’s idea of a concert. It’s something close to a “fuck you” to those poor souls ignorant enough to be content with Spring Fling; if you enjoy Spring Fling, then you certainly won’t enjoy its evil twin, the Anti-Fling. Sure, WYBC did promo: a few posters on Old Campus, a Facebook event. If we wanted this event to be bigger, we could have made it so, and I think we should have.

    Because who wouldn’t enjoy Anti-Fling if they went? The show opened with a set from Beat Culture, a Yale producer who’s made something of a name for himself in the open water. Beat Culture, aka Sunik Kim ’16, is the rare DJ who puts on a show instead of just pressing buttons. With sounds just unusual enough to be fresh and an ear for infectious beats, Kim had the crowd just as into his music as he was. His music had both edge and appeal — the essence of Anti-Fling.

    But the evening’s most memorable performance would belong undoubtedly to Mykki Blanco, a cross-dressing New York rapper who insists on going by female gender pronouns. Although Blanco toned down her get-up for the show, settling for black lipstick and a basketball jersey that doubled as a skirt for the show’s second half, she delivered a snarling, vitriolic performance that was impossible to tune out, one way or the other. Okay, so it’s not the kind of thing you’d see at Spring Fling — although some of Macklemore’s outfits can border on androgynous. But even if more than a few of the event’s bro-ier attendees might not have expected a cross-dressing rapper, everyone could shout along to the refrain of Blanco’s “Getting Wavy”: “We’re getting wavy, getting wavy, getting wavy.” Like I said, an open bar will do that.

    Blanco’s bizarre set led into a performance from Brooklyn band Oberhofer, who played convincing if somewhat conservative indie rock, poles apart from Blanco’s antics. As happens with a lot of bands, Oberhofer lost much of their sound’s glockenspiel-fueled nuance once they stepped out of the studio. Their set was all power chords and fist pumping; I’m not sure if I saw someone break out a lighter, but you get the point. No one at the show was as snooty as me, though, and Oberhofer’s set had enough energy to keep a well-lubricated crowd interested before electronic act Pictureplane closed out the night with some solid spinning.

    There wasn’t much “anti” about Anti-Fling. It wasn’t against anything except itself. Why would you put on a great show, pay for an open bar and then spin it as the concert for people too cool for concerts? It makes no sense to use music to differentiate people, for music to be “for” some people and not for others. Obviously, not everyone likes everything, but music itself isn’t biased. It’s not going to make a football player bleed from the ears to hear some indie rock, and it doesn’t make your music better when you’re apathetic about sharing it with people. Music is an inherently communal activity; we’ve been making it in groups for millennia. It shouldn’t take an open bar for music to pull people together.

    It helps, though.

  5. YCC unveils full Spring Fling lineup

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    Indie artist Best Coast and DJ RL Grime will join Macklemore and Grouplove onstage for Spring Fling on April 29, the Yale College Council announced in a promotional video on the Spring Fling website earlier this afternoon.

    The news came more than a month after the News broke on Feb. 9 that Macklemore would headline Spring Fling and a few weeks after the News reported that Grouplove would also perform.

    Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. followed by student openers — to be determined by the Battle of the Bands competition — at 2:45 p.m.

  6. Grouplove to perform at Spring Fling


    Indie band Grouplove, best known for the hit song “Tongue Tied,” will perform at Yale University on April 29 — the day of Spring Fling — according to a concert listing on Grouplove’s website.

    Grouplove consists of artists Hannah Hooper (vocals, keys), Christian Zucconi (vocals, guitar), Sean Gadd (bass, vocals), Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals) and Ryan Rabin (drums). The band’s first single and hit song “Colours” rose to No. 12 on Modern Rock charts, and its second single, “Tongue Tied,” has sold over 1 million copies in the U.S.

    Grouplove will join hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis onstage at Spring Fling this year.

    Yale College Council President John Gonzalez ’14 did not immediately return requests for comment about Grouplove’s appearance at Spring Fling.

    Update: March 7, 2013

    As of 9:57 p.m. Thursday night, the concert listing had been taken down from Grouplove’s website.

  7. Email announcements from your friendly neighborhood YCC

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    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will be performing at Spring Fling 2013.

    We wish the YDN hadn’t ruined the surprise, as we were in the middle of working on a pretty epic announcement music video, complete with a cameo from Mack and Ryan themselves. So much for that … The guys are upset to hear we’re going to have to scrap the project.

    Enjoy the weekend.


    YCC, Spring Fling Committee


    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that, for the first time in 35 years, Yale has had an official snow day.

    We wish the YDN hadn’t ruined the surprise before the YCC could make an official announcement. We were in the process of collaborating on a video press release with Mayor John DeStefano Jr., which would have featured a cameo by J-Stef himself. So much for that … Needless to say, John was pretty disappointed that the YDN ruined his special day.

    Enjoy the snow.


    YCC, Meteorological Committee


    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that Durfee’s will be closed this Tuesday, Feb. 19, due to prohibitive weather conditions.

    We wish the YDN hadn’t ruined the surprise, as we and the Durfee’s staff were right in the middle of creating a smooth R&B mixtape, which we were really excited to show to you guys. So much for that … Guess we’ll never get to hear it.

    Enjoy G-Heav.


    YCC, Committee on Undergraduate Snacks


    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J. (birthplace of actor Ray Liotta!) will be this year’s Class Day speaker.

    We wish the YDN hadn’t ruined the surprise, as we had just finished scrapbooking C-Book’s second term as mayor, which includes several headline newspaper clippings from The Newark Star-Ledger. So much for that … The mayor was visibly disheartened when he heard that his first chance to speak to a crowd of over 1,000 people had been marred by the YDN.

    Enjoy rewatching Amy Poehler’s Harvard Class Day speech from 2011.


    YCC, Disappointment Mitigation Committee


    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that Pope Benedict XVI has announced his retirement.

    We wish the YDN hadn’t ruined the surprise, as Benny-16 was in the process of choreographing a farewell performance art piece to be enacted in the center of Old Campus, in the nude. So much for that … Needless to say, His Holiness was pretty miffed to hear that the force of his artistic and religious message was diffused by the machinations of YDN.

    Enjoy excommunication.


    YCC, Vatican Liaison


    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that I am asking Mike Bernardi out on a date to Basil on Friday, Feb. 15.

    We wish my friend Ashley hadn’t ruined the surprise by telling everyone in our entryway, including my FroCo, that I liked him, as I was in the middle of gathering up the courage to finally talk to him after our “Civil War” section on Thursday. So much for that … Needless to say, this whole experience has taught me to be more careful when choosing my friends.

    Enjoy your big mouth, Ashley.


    YCC, Committee on Social Justice


    Waddup Yale,

    We’re psyched to tell you that there is a hilarious View written by Caleb Madison and Cody Kahoe in today’s edition of WEEKEND.

    We wish the YDN hadn’t ruined the surprise by publishing it, as we were in the process of constructing a great email announcing that the YDN was going to publish it. So much for that … Needless to say, Caleb and Cody are pretty upset that their article was ruined by you reading it right now.

    Enjoy the weekend.


    YCC, YDN Surveillance Committee

  8. YCC confirms Macklemore

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    One day after the News announced that Macklemore would perform at Spring Fling, the Spring Fling Committee confirmed the decision, writing in a Sunday email to the student body that they were “psyched” to bring the popular artist to Yale for Spring Fling.

    In the email, the Spring Fling Committee also expressed remorse that the lineup was leaked beforehand.

    “We were in the middle of working on a pretty epic announcement music video, complete with a cameo from Mack and Ryan themselves,” the email said. “So much for that … The guys are upset to hear we’re going to have to scrap the project.”

    Students interested in designing a logo for the contest can do so by Feb. 18. Winners will receive a backstage pass to “chill” with Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and the other Spring Fling performers, according to the Spring Fling Committee.

    The Yale College Council also confirmed the news in a Sunday night Facebook post.

  9. I’mma Buy U a Backlash

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    While you and your biffles lost yourselves, your phones and your self-worth within the mud pit that is Old Campus during Spring Fling, others probably plugged their ears to block out the unwanted noise.

    As a matter of fact, it should come as no surprise that the arrival of T-Pain last Tuesday ruffled a few feathers. When someone at Yale gets offended, we all know. We are an emphatic bunch — sometimes irascible, sometimes dogmatic, sometimes in the right. And for each of the past three Spring Flings, at least one artist selection has set our opinionated cogwheels in motion. These musicians share two points in common: they are rappers, and some listeners tend to brand their music as degrading to women.

    Two years ago, while MGMT’s apathetic performance took everyone and their mothers aback, the Ying Yang Twins had already caused some members of our campus to shake their heads in disapproval. Despite what was perceived as their misogynistic image, the Spring Fling committee at the time described them as an “unbeatable option” and stressed that their selection did not represent an endorsement of their lyrics’ message. Still, as a challenge to this choice, an alternate concert was held in the Trumbull courtyard on the day of Spring Fling, where student groups performed amid pizza and face painting while the Twins took the stage on Old Campus.

    “While we considered a few hip-hop artists who were not offensive, when we evaluated all of the hip-hop artists solely based on entertainment value and cost, the Ying Yang Twins were clearly the best choice,” the Spring Fling committee wrote in a letter published in the News a week before the event.

    Even Lupe Fiasco caused some stir last year. “Can you please put your titties closer to the 22s?” he sings in one of his ditties (but at least he asks politely). The outcry was minimal, the show went on and the crowd still sang along to “Superstar.”

    Many obstacles seem clear during the artist selection process. It is tough to find a mainstream, affordable rapper who is not somewhat objectionable, and the powers that be obviously place more emphasis on procuring an artist that the majority of Yalies will enjoy.

    That said, the assertive words of Kathleen Powers ’12, who has written two opinion pieces opposing two different Spring Fling acts, make a valid point: “Events like the Ying Yang Twins’ performance, DKE’s parade and T-Pain’s impending arrival have a common source,” she wrote last week. “Our culture deems this rhetoric acceptable.”

    Now T-Pain has triggered a similar backlash to the one in 2010 in the wake of his appearance. However, no protest events were held as an alternative, and as of Wednesday night, there have been no confirmed accounts of Yale women actually taking their motherfucking shirts off when T-Pain lyrically commanded them to do so.

    “With T-Pain, the number of people who were excited to see him far exceeds the handful of people who were upset because they find his music offensive,” said Emily Yin ’13, marketing vice president for last year’s Spring Fling committee.

    Yin then points to the Spring Fling survey sent out in a campus-wide email months prior to the concert. As a former member of the committee, she said, what students say they want is very influential. The committee looks through the artists that ranked the highest on the survey, excludes those that would not fit the budget, and then attempts to pick the acts that would indeed perform well live and muster a crowd, she explained. In essence, if students didn’t like T-Pain, the committee wouldn’t have voted in favor of T-Pain.

    It’s not as if the committee never considers an artist’s reputation. A year prior to the Ying Yang Twins’ performance, the committee decided against pursuing hip-hop artist Akon in spite of his popularity among students, because of his music’s prurient and chauvinist message (“Smack that till you get sore,” “But you already know, I wanna f— you,” the list continues.)

    All in all, most Yalies interviewed don’t necessarily see a trade-off between talent and offensiveness.

    “It’s important that we balance our desire for big headliners with our other values as a community,” Jaya Wen ’12 said. “It is true that the very act of paying an artist to visit our campus and perform for our student body is an act of endorsement.”

    And while the committee’s main concern is to bring artists that can get students riled up about the event, Ifeanyi Awachie ’14 said Spring Fling does not have to be a showcase of artists who are already popular, but an opportunity for students to discover new music.

    For as Powers and Wen suggest, both our excitement and our student activities fees are being proffered to the artists we bring to Spring Fling. If our voice is what truly counts, as the committee has stated time and time again, then perhaps the survey sent out to the student population should include explicit questions about selection criteria and not just an extensive inventory of artists. That’s one of many potential new approaches, according to Matthew Shafer ’13.

    “It would allow student opinion about the importance or non-importance of artistic politics and ethics to be reflected, even if they aren’t familiar with the content of the lyrics of every artist on the long list that’s sent out,” Shafer said.

    This week, most of us were “On A Boat” with T-Pain in exhilaration and drunken haze. Come next year, unless we can reach a consensus on how to find a follow-up to his act, we will always come across a handful of Yalies jumping off the Spring Fling ship in protest.


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