Welcome to Spring Fling.
Some of you may be too drunk to read this. That’s all right. For others, you’ll start flinging after that last Thursday class or — Heaven forbid — that one Friday class you just can’t skip. We’ve all been there.
By Friday night, however, we will all come together to celebrate this much-anticipated tradition. Well, some of us will.
Ever since the 1980s, when the concert expanded to feature nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, it has been one of the most prominent and integral components of Fling.
This year, though, a good portion of the student body will be skipping out on the Penn concert to go see Alesso at Villanova.
“Long story, short: Girl Talk is lame. But, good news — Alesso is performing at Villanova … at the same damn time as the Penn concert. So instead of settling, go where you really want to go,” the recently created website selling bus tickets from Penn to Villanova reads.
Is Fling more about the music or coming together as a school? As far as I know, this is the first time students are actively and publicly organizing themselves to separate the concert from Fling. The concert is a divisive event this year, forcing students to choose what Fling means to them.
“I think it’s kind of sad. Fling is a time when we come together and relax, and now we won’t all be together,” Wharton junior Megan Budischak said. “The students who are leaving identify more with another school than with Penn. I’m going to the concert just because it’s Spring Fling, and I want to be with my friends.”
While Budischak’s friends might be at the concert, others worry a lot of theirs won’t be. “It feels like half the school is leaving. I want my friends to stay!” College junior Amalia Debrosse said. Though not quite half the school will be boarding the 6:30 p.m. buses to Alesso, a good portion of the Greek scene will be. “I just think it’s weird. Pretty much entire frats are going — Beta, PiKapp and Kappa Sig,” she added.
As of Wednesday, 10 to 12 buses are scheduled to take students to Villanova, according to one of the bus organizers and Engineering junior, Kelsey Brongo, who’s also a former Daily Pennsylvanian staff member. Each bus will have approximately 60 students.
Packing so many kids onto buses for the concert also raises some safety questions. Many students aren’t familiar with Villanova’s campus, and already “a lot of people have trouble making it to Franklin Field,” Debrosse said.
Students’ decisions to go to Alesso because “Girl Talk is lame” ultimately send a message to SPEC that they are unhappy with this year’s performers — as if the posted lyrics, protests and various DP op-eds haven’t done that already. I understand that some students truly are Alesso fans, but the decision to go to Villanova’s spring concert instead of our own throws what we value about Spring Fling into greater question: good music or coming together for the sake of being together.
To me, it’s the latter. The concert is a staple not because of which artists are there, but because it brings much of the Penn community to one place. How often do most of us attend one major event? And unlike graduation, it’s one of the only times we’re all together and expected to be drunk.
As 1983 College graduate Henry Ottinger said in an April 15, 1983 DP article, “The whole purpose of Spring Fling is to have a good time, get a little drunk, enjoy the celebration with friends on the Quad and have a blast.” An additional purpose this year seems to be to make a political statement, which changes the Fling atmosphere.
Though the concert has always brought people together in the past, this year, it is driving the student body apart. That may be the saddest thing about it.
Morgan Jones is a College junior from Colorado Springs, Colo. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or send her a tweet @morganjo_. “Nuggets of Wisdom” appears every Thursday.Comments powered by Disqus
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