Take a Chance, MCAB

By Guest Contributor

A friend on the MCAB Concert Committee wrote to me after middbeat had posted my email, “I love to mess around as much as you do, but saying ‘let’s get these fascists’ doesn’t really allow for an honest discourse that could make the entire process better, rather than immediately trying to make people defensive.”

First of all, no, my friend from MCAB, you do not love to mess around as much as I do. Secondly, making people defensive is in fact the only way this “New Deal” (the term future historians will use to refer to the movement of Chance to Nelson) got made. The Concert Committee — I won’t generalize by calling them MCAB; I got no beef with the rest of that organization — only cared about this situation after the brave folks at middbeat put them on the defensive.

And they were right to be defensive — only advertising the ticket sale date on Facebook was irresponsible and selfish. 53 of my friends on Facebook “like” MCAB. About half of those friends have graduated from this institution. I would really hope those recent alums have better things to do with their time than tell me about seeing the one post the Committee made about the sale date of the Chance tickets. Other friends who “like” MCAB on Facebook include my ex-girlfriend and Public Safety Officer Christopher Thompson. I’m afraid I don’t talk to either of them as much as I should.

I was never going to find out about the Chance tickets from Facebook. I am not alone in that realization. The MCAB Concert Committee’s idea of “honest discourse” was a curt, dismissive, condescending email to a single student who criticized them. They were defensive from jump street. The Committee got Lawrence Taylor-level defensive when middbeat proved that their inaction pissed off more than a single super senior Feb who happens to be taking the Creative Process and has a lot of time on his hands.

The Committee had a problem: due to the show’s placement in McCullough, there were not a ton of tickets. Their solution was to sweep it under the rug by only advertising on Facebook. That wasn’t the action of people who cared about students seeing this show.

The Committee suggested I use “proactivity” next time around. That was right after admitting that they chose to only advertise on Facebook. I hope the anonymous meanie-face who wrote the email — I learned recently it was not written or even approved by the entire Committee —  is not an English major, because that is some ass-chapping irony.

Proactivity would have been to advertise the hell out of the sale date (posters, emails, announcements on WRMC), and then to help kids get tickets. To avoid the box-office website overloading, encourage students to line up outside McCullough the morning the tickets went on sale. Hand out hot cocoa. Make a whole thing out of it. The Concert Committee scored huge in getting Chance to come to Middlebury. Then they copped out. They didn’t wait through the 30 seconds of silence in “Pusha Man” to get to “Paranoia;” they just skipped to the next track.

Why did they do this? I’ve noticed a tendency in my peers towards passive aggression. It’s understandable — we all have to live together, so we avoid conflict at all costs. The Concert Committee exemplified this behavior at every turn. We can’t have that in our leaders. Stepping on toes is an unintended consequence of progress. You should be able to get over the pain of a stubbed toe quickly. When that happens, you can get to work resolving the conflict. I’m not sure if the Concert Committee shrugged off their boo-boo to help overcome the ticket situation. In my eyes, we got the concert moved to Nelson because of an incredible effort by JJ Boggs.

For those not familiar with Ms. Boggs, she is the Dean of Students for Student Activities & Orientation. To begin with, you’ve got to be a saint to work orientation every year. What’s more stressful than trying to convince hundreds of terrified/horny 18-year olds that they will feel at home for the next four years of their lives? JJ is able to make us comfortable during orientation because she knows she will never stop working to make this place our home. That home happens to have semiannual rap concerts.

Hopefully this ordeal will open up a greater degree of transparency and communication between MCAB and the students it represents. Were that to happen, we could get to the bigger issue, which is, of course, people cheating at Grille Trivia Night. That needs to stop. You’re seriously ruining it for everyone.

ADAM BENAY ‘13.5 is from Fairfax, V.T.