Big Show a No-Go, to be Replaced with Bigger Day of Woden

A photo collage of previous Big Show performers showcasing Jesse McCartney, Michael Che, Demetri Martin, Mo Amer, music duo Rey-n-Raey and MadeinTYO. The end-of-year show has had performances ranging from comedians and magicians to popular music artists and bands (Photo illustration by Jake Ellsworth).

Big Show isn’t returning this year. 

Traditionally held toward the end of the spring semester, Houston senior and Vice President of Off Campus Leslie Rivas said that Big Show is an “annual concert that Union Board puts on. We all as a committee organize who’s presenting, with some attractions to go with it.” 

In previous years, Big Show has been headlined by Seth Meyers, Mo Amer and – most recently – MadeinTYO.

However, Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Union Board advisor Sharese Shannon Mathis said that this year, the funds normally used for Big Show have been directed to scaling up Day of Woden.

According to President of Union Board and Marshall senior Shannon Barba, the decision to not plan a Big Show this year came down to the events of last year’s performance. Barba said that the performers and staff “provided a lot of complications” for both Union Board and Campus Life. 

“We kind of wanted just to take a step back and say, ‘we have all this money that we have to use for Big Show. If it’s not something people are getting enjoyment out of, how can we better use this money for something that people actually will enjoy?’” Barba said. 

According to the Albion Today, Day of Woden is set to be held on April 24 at 4 p.m. on the quad.   The event will include carnival rides, concessions, caricatures, bounce houses and other activities not yet revealed.

In the past, Barba said Union Board has created a list of performers students might be interested in for Big Show before sending out a survey on campus to pick an entertainer.

“We need surveys because (Albion College is) really big on statistics and data, especially for events,” Barba said. 

Barba added that student input is valued for larger events since both Union Board and Campus Life are tasked with budgeting. 

In an email, Shannon-Matthis said that student activity fee money is available for organizations, but that Union Board’s funds are not voted on by Student Senate. Most student organizations, as defined by the student activity fee guidelines, may request funding by submitting a budget request electronically through Engage, a student activity platform.

“In reality, all of the money comes out of one big pot. Union Board’s money doesn’t have to be voted on by the Senate, but they still need buy-in,” Shannon-Mathis said via email  Thursday. “The SAF fee money is available for organizations as long as the event or initiative is accessible to the entire student body.”

Incoming Student Senate President and Lansing junior Kara Anderson said she thinks the college has been “very cognizant” of using their budget on events that students want to attend. 

Speaking from a student standpoint, Anderson added that budgeting for events that focus on student-centered events and spaces is important.

“In the past, it seems less people have been going to (Big Show). We’ve been having a lot of events, just across the campus generally, where there’s low attendance,” Anderson said. “We want to be efficient with the budget, so I think it makes sense not to have Big Show if it hasn’t been as successful in the past.”

Anderson added that when thinking about budget efficiency, “quantity over quality” is what’s important. Anderson added that Day of Woden brings in current students, community members and prospective students. With a higher budget, this year’s Day of Woden will feature more activities, drawing a larger crowd.

According to the Albion Today, Day of Woden will include a free picnic dinner for all students, faculty and staff; the increased activities are meant to help “end this semester strong and come together as a community before finals begin and the class of 2024 commences.”

As for “coming together as a community,” Shannon-Mathis said engaging with events that already exist and taking initiative helps create the best experiences. Shannon-Mathis added that planning larger events partly comes down to students voting for activities and participating in Union Board meetings.

Some students, like Los Angeles junior Cindy Avila, find it difficult to keep up with campus events without actively checking for updates online using Corq, an app that helps college students find and locate events on campus. Barba said that along with using Corq, Union Board posts updates about events on Instagram and puts up flyers.

“I’m not really informed just because I know that in order to be informed, to be up-to-date with what’s happening, it’s on Corq,” Avila said. “I think there definitely should be a better way of putting more information, more events, out there.”

While Big Show’s fate in years to come has yet to be determined, Barba said he thinks that “Big Show will exist in some capacity for sure, but it might be more of (an) every other year kind of thing.” 

Barba added that he is grateful for the community members that show up to Union Board sponsored events and that “there’s a lot going on and events we have upcoming.”

About Killian Altayeb 25 Articles
Killian Altayeb is from Novi, Michigan and is a second-year student at Albion College. They are a Biochemistry Major with a journalistic interest in all things public health. Contact Killian via email at NA12@albion.edu.

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