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As the Fling concert approaches, a number of students are preparing for their own alternative fling celebrations.

While the Social Planning and Events Committee will be hosting the University-funded main event of Spring Fling, other students — in groups like Penn Haven Housing Co-op, the Orthodox Community at Penn and the United Minorities Council — are looking to alternative ways to celebrate Fling.

Penn Haven Co-op will be putting on their own Fling show at the same time as the SPEC concert at their house on 518 Woodland Terrace. The show will consist of four local acts, Split Red, The Dicktations, The Districts and The Dolts.

The Co-op, which began two years ago, thought of creating an alternative fling event last year, but couldn’t find the resources to actually put it on. This year they were able to make it happen.

College senior Andrew Ciampa, one of the 11 members in the Co-op, sees their show as a reflection of their overall values.

“A lot of us were frustrated with the activities that go on at Fling,” Ciampa said. “But I think the idea of a concert really ties in a few concerns, and they aren’t just specific to Fling. A lot of us feel that the musical styles that are favored at Penn don’t really align with some of our interests.”

Ciampa said he wanted to see a greater diversity of music on Penn’s campus, and he believes that the Co-op will provide a space for local musicians “that might not otherwise have a space at Penn.”

Penn Haven Co-op itself was created to provide an alternative space for students to challenge Penn’s norms, Ciampa said.

Besides promoting alternative types of music, the Co-op will also be providing an affordable option for students.

According to Ciampa, the Fling concert is “just exorbitantly priced,” so the Co-op “wanted to have an event that’s accessible to people regardless of how much money they have.”

There will be a suggested $5 donation at the show, but Ciampa promises that they won’t turn away anyone who can’t afford it. The proceeds will be going to the Student/Farmworker Alliance, an organization that many of the co-op members participate in.

While many of the co-op members have also expressed opposition towards the rapper Tyga in particular because of his disparaging lyrics, they aren’t necessarily opposed to all of the artists, Ciampa said. It’s more just the fact that the concert lacks diversity and is expensive.

As the co-op members enjoy their own alternative fling, a number of other students from the Orthodox Community at Penn will be flinging in Houston Hall.

Every year, the OCP puts on a Fling Feast during Spring Fling. The event includes live entertainment and food and provides Orthodox Jews a substitute for the concert.

Even though this year’s Fling doesn’t fall on Passover, many observant Jews are still opting out of the main concert because it takes place during Shabbat. Instead, they are attending the feast.

Nursing sophomore and one of the co-chairs of the event Rachel Bernard explained that Fling Feast is meant “to provide a Shabbat-friendly outlet for those students who wish to participate in Fling activities but aren’t comfortable going to the concert because of religious observance.”

Bernard looks forward to the event and believes that it is a good alternative to SPEC’s concert.

OCP co-chair Loren Miller, a junior in the College, explained that in addition to being a substitute for the concert, “the Feast is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our community at the end of the academic year.”

According to Elan Kiderman, a junior in the College and a member of the Fling Feast Planning Committee, Fling Feast usually attracts around 200 to 250 people. He expects a similar attendance at this year’s feast, which will be centered on the theme of magic.

Like Bernard, Kiderman looks forward to the event and doesn’t feel too badly about missing the SPEC concert because of Shabbat.

“The OCP does an amazing job with the event, so I know I’m going to have a good time with good company,” Kiderman said. “I understand that it’s a good night to have an event, and although I do like music, I definitely don’t have any hard feelings towards the school.”

One other alternative to Fling activities is the United Minorities Council’s Celebration of Cultures. The celebration will be taking place this Thursday on College Green, and offers an event quite unlike SPEC’s concert.

All of the different cultural groups that fall under UMC will be present at the celebration, be it through a performance or giving out cultural food.

College sophomore and UMC Vice Chair Jesus Fuentes said he didn’t want to go to the SPEC concert because of the artists, so he is viewing the UMC event as his alternative even though it takes place the day before the actual concert.

“It may not last as long [as the SPEC concert] and be as big of an event but it means more to me personally,” Fuentes said.

While Fuentes wasn’t sure if other students would view the event as an subsitute to Fling activities, he thinks it will be a great event either way.

“If people see celebrating the cultures as an alternative to Fling, that’s great because it provides more options to the Penn community,” Fuentes said. “If not, that’s fine because it’s still a great event regardless. It depends on how people like to spend their time during Fling.”

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