Feeling Disoriented

CSU Remains Tight-Lipped About Orientation Concert Headliner

Students enjoy last year’s orientation concert at Loyola. Photo Julia Jones

In late August of previous years, the Concordia Student Union has plastered the campus with posters and handed out flyers detailing the year’s Orientation schedule.

At press time, the only advertising for the $150,000 two-week event, which begins tomorrow, consisted of a Facebook image with the listing of activities offered.

This year, CSU leaders say the flyers are still at the printer, and their website hasn’t been completely updated since last year’s Your Concordia slate handed over the reins to their A Better Concordia successors in early April.

“I think we wanted to make sure that everything was solidified,” said VP Student Life Alexis Suzuki of the lack of advance promotion.

“A lot of the events were cancelled last year, so, I don’t know, I just think that we just wanted to make sure that everything was going according to plan and didn’t want to put anything up that was going to be cancelled. There wasn’t any specific reasoning for it, but we just wanted to make sure that we have our events down.”

Last year, two events were cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances: a terrace party was called off because of a malfunctioning barbecue, and the mid-week scavenger hunt was cancelled due to poor attendance.
In the past, the CSU has hosted free Orientation shows by the likes of Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, Chromeo and Metric.

As of press time, no musical lineup for this year had been released.

On Monday afternoon, Orientation Director Ramy Khoriaty offered an explanation for to the delay. The CSU encountered contract issues in mid-August when they were given an ultimatum by the original band they had contacted: The act had been booked overseas on the same day as the Orientation concert, for much more pay.

“We got a little screwed by the booking company we were working with for the contract,” he said. “We saw online that the band would potentially be double-booked and playing somewhere that paid two times what we would have.”

So, with the contracts not yet finalized, the CSU was left without a band for Orientation’s main event with only a few weeks to go.

Now, they’re waiting for some last promotional material from the newly booked band before making the final reveal.

“It’s something that hasn’t been done before. We thought it would be really fun and creative [to not release the artists’ names right away] so we thought it would be a good idea to do that; it would be a nice little surprise for everyone,” said Gallardo of the delay in releasing the identity of the new headliners.

“I feel like everything is not ready, and I’m going insane and I’m terrified, but in terms of [being organized], I think we’re pretty good,” said Suzuki on Sunday. “I’m freaking out. I’ve been freaking out every day; I’ve been freaking out for the past two months, but everyone keeps telling me that if I wasn’t, there would be something wrong—so that’s definitely reassuring.”

Throughout the summer, the CSU ran into challenges booking the Reggie’s terrace for the concert due to a noise complaint filed during last year’s Orientation downtown.

At the time, the Concordia administration was told by authorities that “no noise registering above 80 decibels is allowed on public or private property,” and if the noise level exceeded that, those responsible could incur fines between $1,500 and $12,000—plus a $375 administration fee.

“There were a ton of noise restrictions that were going on, and it was essentially that we weren’t allowed to have any amplified sound on the terrace […] so it was a huge, huge hassle,” said Suzuki.

“It was a big chunk of our time over the summer to make sure that we could have sound, but in the end we talked to the city and did a bit of work so we were finally able to get a permit from them. There are restrictions, but essentially we were granted permission for the duration of Orientation, so we’re really happy.”

However, the noise still must be kept under 80 decibels—a level comparable to the sound of a toilet flushing.

Despite securing permission to use the terrace for smaller events, the CSU has organized the main concert to be hosted in the Loyola quad, as it has been in recent years.

Gallardo says that the decision was made not to avoid permit regulations, but to prevent non-Concordians from participating in the events.

“This is really something that is a Concordia event, and we really want to offer the opportunity to our students more than anyone else,” said Gallardo.

“By having it at our own campus, I think that sends a pretty clear message that we really want Concordia students to enjoy the event and be a part of it, and take advantage of both of their campuses as well.”

Orientation activities are scheduled to start on Tuesday, with the concert on Sept. 14 and the final event on Sept. 16.