PoM declines pre-Big Show contract due to new clauses

Daily Sundial

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PoM declined to perform in the pre-Big Show concert at The Pub, which was offered to them as a consolation for not receiving either of their two original prizes after wining the Battle of the Bands contest last October, members of PoM and Student Productions and Campus Entertainment said.

PoM was initially told they would receive eight hours of free recording time and the chance to perform in this year’s Big Show 5 after winning the Battle of the Bands competition. But when SPACE booked Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday, the bands’ contracts prohibited SPACE from contracting smaller-name bands in the show.

Since then, Leanne Vincent, SPACE adviser, said the working relationship between SPACE and PoM broke down, prompting SPACE to draft a second contract stating, “Any statements made, whether oral or written, in real or electronic time, which indicate anything other than a mutually harmonious contractual agreement, will result in the immediate cancellation of this contract, and will constitute grounds for further action by SPACE, including legal proceedings against the group as a whole or against individual members, for breach of conditions of this contract, and for slander or libel.”

The initial contract given to PoM regarding their compensation performance was revised by SPACE to ensure that both PoM and SPACE kept a professional and cordial relationship before and during the week of the Big Show, Vincent said.

According to Vincent, when the first contract regarding the pre-Big Show concert on April 27 was given to PoM, there was no sign of hostility or anger from either party, which gave her and other members of SPACE the impression that they “were all in good shape.”

It was not until PoM members expressed their complaints in an article published in the Daily Sundial on April 14 that SPACE decided to change the contract by adding sections to the contract outlining the expected conduct of PoM if they chose to play at The Pub for the pre-Big Show, Vincent said.

“It doesn’t change the fact that we made them an offer, but we can change the offer,” Vincent said.

David Crandall, general manager of Associated Students, said the clauses that were added outlined that there would be “no trash talking,” and that there would be a promise to maintain a professional relationship between the two parties.

The contract was not meant censor PoM, Vincent said.

Yolanda Anguiano, executive director of SPACE, said it is only fair that SPACE protect against any negative comments by asking that PoM agree to maintain a professional business relationship.

Brittany Coe, bass player of PoM, said the band has done nothing up to this point that has been childish or unprofessional, which she said she felt was implied when SPACE added the clauses after already offering a contract.

According to Coe, during her last meeting with Anguiano, when she declined the pre-Big Show performance and returned the unsigned final contract, Anguiano told her the members of SPACE were trying to protect themselves from the possibility of PoM making negative comments about them when they went onstage.

When SPACE decided it would be best to add the clauses, Crandall was supportive of the idea, Anguiano said.

SPACE members were simply trying to protect themselves, and the extra sections added are standard clauses found in many band contracts, Anguiano said.

However, Coe said if these were standard clauses found in other contracts, she could not understand why they were not included in the initial contract.

Coe said members of the band were ready and willing to perform in the pre-Big Show because it was the polite thing to do after SPACE planned and asked them to play at the event. However, when the clauses were added, the members of the band refused to perform, Coe said.

“I do understand it’s their right to protect themselves, but it’s just as much our right to disagree with it and think it’s not fair,” Coe said.

The clauses implied that PoM had been acting in an unprofessional manner, Coe said. The band felt this was unfair since the only thing they wanted was to make the public aware of the situation, she said.

“We gave them no reason to add those clauses in there,” Coe said. “It made us feel very unwanted.”

Vincent said that after the Daily Sundial article was published, it was evident PoM and SPACE did not have a good working relationship. However, she said she felt things have now gone too far, and that SPACE just wants to put the incident behind them now.

“We’re making an absolute volcano out of a pimple,” Vincent said.

According to Crandall, it was made clear to PoM from the beginning that it was SPACE’s intention to have them play at the Big Show, but due to unforeseeable circumstances, it was unable to happen.

“We made a promise we can’t keep,” Crandall said.

What SPACE understood was that PoM wanted an opportunity to play in front of an audience, Crandall said, so he and SPACE came up with the pre-Big Show concert, which seemed to work for both SPACE and PoM.

SPACE contacted PoM to negotiate their compensation, and both parties agreed, Crandall said.

Then, once the clauses were added, PoM was unhappy again and they refused to do the concert.

Although the situation escalated more than it should have, Crandall said he thinks the students of SPACE have acted professionally and reasonably throughout the process.

But members of PoM said the situation could have been prevented from growing had there been better communication with members of SPACE and earlier intervention by Vincent and Crandall.

Yet Vincent said it is almost impossible to always know what is going on in SPACE 100 percent of the time.

Because SPACE is a student-run organization, students do not tell advisers everything and it is left up to students to handle situations and experience the consequences, Vincent said. Sometimes students may be embarrassed to admit there is a problem, she said.

“You don’t want to be embarrassed in front of your adviser,” Vincent said.

But the situation could have been handled differently, Vincent said.

“Should SPACE have been better at communicating with PoM? Yes. Is that an unforgivable sin? No,” Vincent said.

Vincent said she stepped in immediately and began to try fixing the problem after being contacted directly by a member of PoM.

As the adviser, Vincent said it is her job to give advice to students when they come to her with a problem, but not to make decisions for them.

“(Members of) SPACE have taken this very seriously,” Vincent said. “They take responsibility for their part in the bad communication.”

According to Katrina Veeh, cinema and television arts major and lead singer of PoM, in a final attempt to inform people of their situation, PoM attended the April 26 A.S. Senate meeting to share with the Senate members their experience with SPACE. They handed out all the documents they had received since winning the Battle of the Bands, she said, such as contracts and e-mail conversations with members of SPACE.

Vincent said the issue had already been brought to the attention of A.S., and that A.S. was were aware of all the contracts given to PoM.

When PoM left the Senate meeting, Vincent said she explained to the board why the second contract was issued.

The main concern for PoM., Veeh said, is to let people know what SPACE has done since the beginning.

Vincent said the frustration that PoM has undergone is understandable, but SPACE has tried numerous times to mend the relationship. At this point, members of SPACE have started focusing on other responsibilities, such as coordinating Big Show 5, which will be held May 8.

“We wanted to make good and repair the relationship, but they don’t want anything else,” Vincent said. “They just want to make sure people know what we did.”

After leaving the Senate meeting, Veeh said PoM was done
with SPACE and the whole situation.

“We were done with SPACE and didn’t want anything else to do with them,” Veeh said. “I was content with all the things we did. We feel we did the best we could. I’m just happy we don’t have to deal with it anymore.”

Salvador Hernandez contributed to this report.