Ramos defends CAB efforts

I would like to respond to last week’s column by David Morain (“Unpack your suitcase, Simpson,” Jan. 31). While it is important for the Simpson community to question and discuss issues that are important to the lives of students, it is also important to do research before rushing to judgment.

Morain writes, “By the weekend, dorm rooms empty out and parking lots look as barren as….” In a survey of Simpson students in Spring 2001, 49 percent said they spent almost every weekend on campus. 23 percent indicated they spent at least three weekends a month here, and yet another 16 percent indicated they spent at least half of their weekends on campus.

Overall, 88 percent of the students surveyed stayed on campus at least half of the weekends during the school year – up 5 percent from the previous year.

Regarding boring weekends, CAB has programs every Friday night. For the past four years, CAB has provided movies, bands, comedians and special events like game night.

There is a perception that other schools have more campus activities and also have major concerts regularly. CAB provides as many if not more regular events than other comparable schools.

As for major concerts – those acts that cost more than $5,000 – CAB does not currently have the funds to support such an event.

Selling tickets is not as easy as it seems. Luther College does occasionally host a major concert, but it does not have more than one major concert per semester and did not sponsor a major concert last fall.

Contrary to the popular opinion, the Dave Matthews Band has not played at Luther. Matthews and Tim Reynolds did play there in 1999 at a cost of $50,000. (This does not count other expenses associated with the show and the Dave Matthews Band costs much more.)

Performers like the Nadas, Brenda Weiler and others who perform at Simpson also play at Luther. The only difference between Luther’s program and CAB is that they have the funds to host an occasional major show.

Most schools cannot afford major concerts and the risk of loss of funds on shows. Iowa State University brings in one or two major shows each semester through the program board. The only relationship ISU has with bringing in the Dave Matthews Band for a show in April is that it owns Hilton Coliseum. Students at ISU get no preference for tickets or seating.

Concerts are a business at ISU; independent promoters buy the show. ISU is simply a landlord renting out its property. Simpson does not have the luxury of a large building that is attractive to promoters, nor do most small colleges.

We regularly check what other schools are doing via their Web sites, and students should do the same. Currently on the Simpson Student Activities Web page, we have a link that lists performers scheduled at schools in our region (Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota) of the National Association for Campus Activities. Performers that CAB brings to Simpson tour campuses nationwide.

CAB is always looking for suggestions. Meetings are open to students and take place every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Camp Lounge. CAB is currently developing a late-night weekend program and would welcome any ideas to make the program the best that it can be.

The grass is not always greener on the other side, as Morain makes it sound. When was the last time that you attended a CAB event?

Rich Ramos

Asssistant Dean of Students