Students, USS say ACPB brings no popular bands

Jessica Rothschuh

Where have all the musicians gone?

The All Campus Programming Board has more money than ever, but the concerts at Kent State keep getting dinkier.

The reason for this, according to ACPB faculty adviser Tom Simpson, is the increasing competition Kent State faces.

“ACPB is not in the concert business,” Simpson said, and it can’t offer music acts the most money, the best venue or the biggest audience.

The group’s business, rather, is to “provide pluralistic social, educational, cultural and aesthetically appealing programming” which is responsive to “an undergraduate student constituency,” according to the group’s constitution.

Some, however, are not satisfied with ACPB’s recent programs and spending practices.

Executive Director Gary Broadbent said the group’s budget is large enough that there should be more checks on the way it is being spent.

ACPB receives 54 percent of USS’s annual budget to spend on programming. This amounted to $285,967 for the current school year.

Anonymous posts on Undergraduate Student Senate’s message board sound off about ACPB’s events.

“ACPB puts on stupid events that no one comes to, and when they think they are successful, it’s because the same 20 people come each time,” one post read.

Earlier generations of Kent State students saw acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Smashing Pumpkins, Counting Crows and Bruce Springsteen grace the university’s campus. Elvis Costello’s first U.S. show was in the Rathskeller, Simpson said.

“Those were different times back then,” Simpson said. ACPB “had a big chunk of money back then that was way more, relatively speaking, than they have now. Fifty thousand dollars back then was like $200,000 now.”

In addition, many of the biggest acts the university has hosted were cosponsored by production companies like Clear Channel and Belkin Productions.

“KSU and ACPB just don’t have the money to bring the big acts,” Simpson said.

ACPB’s president Lori LaBanc echoed this sentiment.

ACPB is “supposed to program activities for the entire campus,” Simpson said. “There’s nothing that everyone wants to go to on campus.”

USS senator Bill Ross said he thinks ACPB has done “a decent job” with the restrictions placed on them.

“Honestly, I think there are people in the Office of Campus Life and the administration who don’t want to see these big programs because it’s too much of a hassle for them,” Ross said.

“There’s no check on how that money is being spent,” Broadbent said.

Ross said ACPB’s funding and operation will be something USS continues to work on in the next semester.

Contact student politics reporter Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].