Despite pushback from student senators, singer and star of “Love and Hip-Hop: Hollywood” Omarion will be performing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Rattlers Strikeout Showcase along with Rampage Step Team, House Arrest 2 and Denard Shepard to name a few, at Gaither Gym.
At Monday’s Student Senate meeting, there was an open forum in which senators were given the opportunity to voice their opinions on the upcoming concert. Some members of Student Government Association believe students would not appreciate or enjoy the showcase because of the artists who were selected.
Student Senator Victor Chrispin said it wasn’t the idea of an artist, but who was chosen to perform at the end-of-semester event.
“I don’t think anybody was against the idea of an artist. I believe they were against the artist we chose to bring,” Chrispin said. “From Monday I think I kind of persuaded some of them why and they were able to change their opinion, but for some people they just thought it was irresponsible to bring Omarion.”
The contract for Omarion wasn’t signed until Tuesday morning, according to Chrispin.
William Hudson, vice president of student affairs, had a conversation with two other SGA members who haven’t been identified to make sure they supported spending $30,000 for the concert.
“Two of the SGA members went and had a conversation with VP Hudson. He brought up the fact that we’re about to pay $30,000 for an artist and are we OK with that,” Chrispin said. “The students didn’t know who it was so they were like, ‘Wait, let us talk about this.’”
Some students are worried about where the money came from.
“It does spark a hint of curiosity. I’m a part of an organization that wasn’t funded to be a part of the Million Man March,” Deja Bradley, third-year sociology student, said. “We had to fund that ourselves. We’re missing out on monumental, life-changing moments because we don’t have the money to go, but Omarion can come to the school.”
Chrispin said the money that was supposed to be used for the Homecoming concert was reallocated to help fund this event.
“Every year we start off with money in the Senate Unallocated (account), which is money from our budget that wasn’t budgeted,” Chrispin said. “Once we budget to organizations and give them their fair amount, whatever is left over is placed in the Senate Unallocated. That’s what we’re supposed to use for special allocations to go to organizations and departments and for other use.”
SGA had approved an amendment to have the money that wasn’t used for Homecoming returned to the Senate Unallocated, according to Chrispin, giving them more money to fund the Rattlers Strikeout Showcase.
“Homecoming wasn’t what it was supposed to be. We didn’t have a concert,” Bradley said. “This might be their way of compensating for their lack of events for homecoming.”
Although Omarion is the headline of the event, the purpose of the Rattlers Strikeout Showcase is to bring awareness to police brutality.
“Police brutality has really been heavy in our community,” Chrispin said. “I’m a big believer in getting a point across, but making it accessible to every student. Every student isn’t going to come to a seminar about police brutality. We have this platform where it’s so much fun and it’s entertaining, but still getting the message across.”