Annual Homecoming Concert Sparks Conversation on Campus

By Jada Vanderpool

Homecoming conversations have spread like wildfire among students after rappers YG and Young Jeezy were announced as this year’s homecoming concert artists.

The Umoja Council, a portion of SGA is responsible for planning the week and concert. The council is comprised of 13 members who plan the homecoming week lineup as well as back to school week and I Love Morgan Week. They relied on student input to help determine artists.

“It really is a lot of market research in terms of Morgan, other colleges and then Baltimore in general,” said Troy Griffin. Umoja Council Director. “Also who had albums out, where those albums were rated on the billboard charts and on top of that we did a lot of research in terms of who students wanted to see. We had a whole campaign called ‘Up To You MSU’ that we launched on social media over the summertime.”

The campaign asked students to tweet with the hashtag #up2umsu who they wanted to see for homecoming.

“YG was a no brainer,” said Griffin. “That was the number one response that we saw. Over the summer I said whoever we see as number one that’s who we’re going to bring.”

“When I first saw the lineup I was pleased because i saw YG, and I love YG,” said senior and journalism major Zaire Singleton. “But then when I saw the lineup for everyone else’s homecoming and I thought dang, we could’ve got better artists, and we only have two while other schools have three or four.”

Singleton says she would’ve enjoyed to see Big Sean and Usher. Yet she still anticipates going to the concert. “Of course i will, it’s the day after my birthday. I’ll be there on the stage.”

“There’s no way we can compare ourselves to a Howard homecoming who has a larger budget than us, or a del state or bowie that has a larger budget than us, says Griffin. “And that derives from student fees. If we increase student fees then we’ll have more money for more artists.”

Morgan’s homecoming budget not only includes the concert, but the entire week of festivities. Umoja council partnered with the office of residence and student life to bring forth E! News host Terrance J, which also required spending. The lecture will be free for students.

This year will also include Bearfest, described as a “unique homecoming trademark.”

Kyree West, former executive director of SGA says the council could benefit with more help from the overseeing faculty. “Students don’t understand what it takes planning a homecoming concert…homecoming in general,” he says. “The faculty just kinds of throws it into the hands of students and expects them to come up with something spectacular and then they just kind of go with the flow. There’s not an overwhelming amount of support or input from faculty when it comes to who we book for homecoming concert.”

“It doesn’t really bother me because I understand both aspects of student and SGA,” says Jillian Curry, Miss Junior in relation to some of the displeased student feedback. “But at the same time it kind of hurts because it’s like, you don’t know how much work a lot of people put into homecoming, and we’re doing it for the students, not ourselves.”

The Homecoming concert will be on Friday, October 17 in the Hill Field House. Tickets will be $30 for students and $40 for the general public. Prices go up to $35 for students on the day of the concert.

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