The show, which was the first official function arranged by the group that rose from the ashes of other student organizations, had limited space to meet significant demand.
“People gave up and headed for Rhett’s,” said Karolyne Ridgill, a CAS sophomore. “It would’ve been better somewhere bigger because, I mean, it’s the first week back and [he is] an SNL comedian. They should have done this somewhere with more room.”
BU Central, Student Activities Office event advisors and the Programming Council joined forces to become the Student Activities Programming Team beginning for the fall 2013 semester. Assistant Dean of Students John Battaglino, who was recently appointed Director of Student Activities, brought the team together.
“We’re just a bunch of old administrators, and we try to let the young folks figure out the agenda … so we’re not stepping on each other’s toes,” Battaglino said. “It’s dynamite, it’s loads of fun and everyone [has been] working together.”
Jake Cox, a BU Central general manager, said BU Central and PC worked together for a month before the show to make sure the group’s first function went down without a hitch.
“In the past, BU Central and PC worked individually even though we both did work with SAO,” Cox, a School of Management senior, said. “We were combined to cut down on the competition and the fighting for contenders. We’ve only been together for about a month so far, and we’ve been happy with the change.”
The entrance line for Pharoah’s performance at Metcalf Ballroom extended from the outside of the George Sherman Union to the College of Arts and Sciences building. Cox said anywhere from 50 to 100 students were turned away from the free performance due to limited space.
Battaglino said the goal of Weeks of Welcome is to make BU a vibrant living space for students, something that Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore has made a goal of his department.
“It’s all about the new students and new team getting comfortable in their new environment, and for new students to get out of their rooms for a chance to interact with others on campus,” Battaglino said.
In SAPT, students are most often responsible for setting an agenda of activities, Battaglino said. The students responsible for the show’s organization put their full efforts into making it work.
“For students, putting on this kind of show is pretty exciting,” he said. “When you’re a student involved in one of these events and know you had a part in it, it’s a pretty special night.”
Battaglino said the SAPT chooses performers based on what students seem most interested in at the time. Friday’s performance was the first time a group of BU students has organized a celebrity show as part of Weeks of Welcome.
Although not all students were able to see the show, students and organizers in attendance said Pharoah’s performance was a success.
“If there was an event like this again, I’d definitely attend it,” said Emery Mokler, a CAS junior at the show. “I had an amazing time — there were multiple moments where I almost fell out of my seat laughing, and the friends I went with had the same reaction.”
Allison Macika, one of the general manager of the Programming Council, said the new group already has several performances set for the semester but declined to elaborate.
“We’ve already got stuff lined up,” Macika, a CAS senior, said. “We’re probably going to start working on events for the spring semester sometime in October.”