Daily misreports Spring Jam

We are writing to clarify several inaccurate statements made in the front-page Spring Jam article “TCSU relocates Spring Jam to subdue partying” (April 24) in order to give readers the facts.

To start with, the headline is false. The principal reason we moved the event back on campus (and we clearly explained this to the reporter) is the logistics of coordinating a large event off campus are extremely difficult. We need to work with the city of Minneapolis to obtain permits, hire Minneapolis police, coordinate with business associations and neighborhoods, and the list goes on.

A perfect example from last year was not receiving approval on our venue location in Dinkytown until two weeks before the event – well after all our promotional materials had to be printed and much too late to move to an alternate location if that plan fell through.

In addition, the decision to bring it back on campus was made more than eight months ago, so the recent events related to the hockey championship never weighed in on the decision. It is a fact that last year on the same night as the Spring Jam block party some of the surrounding neighborhoods were subjected to uncivil behavior and vandalism. The Spring Jam block party has always been an alcohol-free event, but because of the proximity to alcohol establishments, it has been perceived as otherwise. Bottom line, it only makes sense to hold the largest student-organized event on campus, to further build pride and spirit in the University.

Secondly, Spring Jam has not had a “tradition” of having the block party in Dinkytown. It has been held on campus several times in the past decade, including in front of Coffman Union and in the Huron parking lots. The reporter received this information from us as well, but chose to count two years as a “tradition.”

And finally, Spring Jam is not meant to be an “all-day drinkathon” as the writer in yesterday’s Network suggests. It’s about celebrating the end of another school year, showcasing the talents of students and last, but certainly not least, philanthropy.

With the events of late and the Daily making more out of the venue change of the block party than there is, the University has every right to be concerned about the reputation of our school and of us students.

Why was the fact 150 students participating in a three-hour community service project cleaning up the streets of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood buried in another negative story about Spring Jam? Why was there no mention of last night’s food shelf fund-raiser during Saturday Night Live’s Darrell Hammond performance, which approximately 1,000 students attended? Why isn’t the Daily asking about the Thomas Burnett Jr. fund-raiser that will take place Friday, honoring this alumnus and one of this country’s true heroes?

All we can conclude is that the Daily is apparently more interested in writing negative pieces rather than reporting the facts.

We’re a student committee and we all have jobs on top of our coursework. We’re just trying to provide an exciting, fun event alternative to the bars. It’s about time the Daily showed some support for the good things that happen on campus!

 

Andrew Kellermann is Spring Jam co-chairman and a junior in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Jim Schweigert is Spring Jam co-chairman and a senior in the College of Liberal Arts.

Carol Bjorklund is Spring Jam adviser, Twin Cities Student Unions. Send comments to
[email protected]