The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Big Show misses great PR opportunity

The Associated Students and its Student Productions and Campus Entertainment programming arm, as well as this entire university, have missed a golden opportunity to market CSUN in a purely positive light to the San Fernando Valley with Big Show 5. The appearance of Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday on this campus could have done great things for CSUN’s public image. Instead, all that has happened is more of the same.

Admission to the event will be restricted to CSUN students with photo IDs and one guest of their choosing. This potentially massive event is being marketed only to the CSUN campus, and not to the surrounding community. This exclusion of everyone outside of the direct CSUN community — not its high cost or its logistical goof-ups — is what’s wrong with this event.

CSUN only has something to gain by publicizing this event to the neighborhoods surrounding CSUN, in grocery stores, libraries, high schools, and street corners. But for some reason, we aren’t. It’s almost as if we don’t want them to know.

No other part of the San Fernando Valley has a concert or an event schedule with an act as large as Jimmy Eat World attached to it. The “beautiful” Panorama City doesn’t exactly host large-scale outdoor concerts featuring first-class musical acts. CSUN has programmed similar “this-is-huge-and-expensive” events, such as Maya Angelou and Jesse Jackson’s appearances here last year, and that’s encountered some success. The University of Southern California got some good attention when Michael Moore appeared on its campus at the peak of his popularity.

CSUN doesn’t get these opportunities too often, and the surrounding community members, as they’ve proven time and time again, don’t think much of us. The College of Extended Learning, the Tseng artifacts and a bunch of parking hassles are the most visible interaction we have with our neighbors. And as shiny and impressive as those feats are, CSUN could really turn some heads by getting the word about Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday coming to our campus.

A better-marketed version of this event could enrich CSUN’s high school student outreach efforts. It’s reasonable to think that students from Valley New High School No. 1 and Granada High would come out for Jimmy Eat World, a very popular band for that demographic. Student Outreach and Recruitment Services could stick a booth out on the Oviatt Lawn and quickly convince students who were debating between CSUN and Pierce College of the difference between a university and a community college.

Vendors from different parts of the university, including the University Corporation and different student clubs and organization, could use the influx of community members to sell food, raise some money and get some attention. Associated Students could reasonably charge community members a dollar or two and do a little philanthropy while they’re at it, which clears A.S. of that whole profiting-at-the-expense-of- others perception.

There would be additional costs associated with this event, such as extra security and better infrastructural boundaries. Perhaps the university, if approached by A.S. with the prospect of a wider-scale event, would consider helping A.S. in return for an event that paints the school in one of the most positive lights its ever been painted in.

If the announcement of Jimmy Eat World appearing on our campus would have been given the same high level press release priority from CSUN Public Relations as the Tseng donation, something guaranteed to not gain as much attention from the average person in the Valley, this event could have already built up some serious pre-show hype. We know it’s not customary for A.S. and the administration to work together on things, as that whole “We’re adversaries” thing comes into play. But every now and then the government and the people can work together and actually accomplish something they will both benefit from.

Without marketing to neighboring communities, CSUN students will definitely come in record numbers, as this is an exceptionally ambitious and overall positive event for our great campus. But it’s unlikely the event will fill the quad to capacity. Filling the holes with a bunch of outsiders is the best way to ensure a “sellout” happens.

The “light at the end of the tunnel” is that it’s not too late to fix this. Last-minute marketing can still be altered to expand its focus. Perhaps part of the contract Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday signed with A.S. had a contingency that allows the crowd to only be freely admitted students. We certainly hope that’s not the case, as perhaps it’s time to think outside the box, and better yet, perhaps it’s time for the CSUN administration to get involved and start spreading the word.

It’s about time this university and our students take advantage of opportunities that will improve our public image, as they usually don’t come in as large of doses as this.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the Sundial editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff.

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