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If there’s one way to characterize students’ response to the spring concert being canceled, it’s disappointment. Student Government Incorporated (SGI) issued a joint statement with Haraya earlier this month announcing that there the would be no concert this year. The groups said they want to restructure the spring concert model. When we reached out to SGI for more information, we were told that the groups want to ensure that the concert lives up to the standard of the tradition.  Haraya never replied to our requests for comment. And once the story was published, our social media accounts exploded with tweets from students asking why the concert was canceled, where money came into play, and expressing disappointment.

“Of course the best event at my school gets canceled…” one student tweeted.

“Since tuition is so expensive I would’ve at least expected our spring concert smh,” another tweeted.

Another said, “damn. what do johnnies look forward to now?”

And those were just some of the responses we received.

It’s clear that students were dissatisfied with the explanation given by SGI and Haraya — and so are we.

SGI nor Haraya has given a clear enough answer as to why the concert was canceled. The Torch asked several times to know the factors that led to the decision to cancel the concert to remodel the structure — but a detailed response was never given.

We’ve again hit a speedbump in the path to transparency.

SGI and Haraya should have done more to at least spread the word that the concert was canceled. Haraya posted the statement to its social media accounts, but SGI did not. There was also nothing on SGI’s website regarding the announcement. If SGI is going to issue a statement, whether by itself or with another organization, they need to post it on their social media accounts and their website. Otherwise, students are losing out on information that they clearly value. Students need to be able to count on SGI to disseminate information they care about.

The statement issued regarding the concert was the first one issued by SGI, and it did little to answer students’ questions. It’s well known that the spring concert has a rocky past, too, so we aren’t sure why SGI or Haraya didn’t make more of an effort to explain the decision to students.

Rather than giving answers, their statement–and the radio silence that followed–has raised more questions.

SGI is right — the spring concert is an important tradition at St. John’s. So when it gets canceled, students are bound to be upset, and full of questions. They deserve answers.

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Flames of the Torch