Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

As the chair of the Activities Board I feel it is necessary to respond to last week?s piece [?Students anticipating Carnival?s arrival want to see it publicized,? 3/28]. While there is certainly criticism due for the late announcement of the concert and comedian for Spring Carnival 2005, this piece lands far off target with whom to pin the blame on.
Carnival Committee has very little to do with both of these events, since they are actually run by AB Concerts and AB Comedy. Carnival Committee simply waits for AB to provide them with information so that they can do their publicity and do any logistical planning.
Bids for both acts went out between mid-January and early February, which should be enough lead time in most cases, but this has obviously been proven false. Agents connected to both acts took an irregular amount of time to get contracts to us, and once they were received, the contracts have not done much more than collect dust in some office of the University?s legal department.
You have to remember, professional staff of the University work 9?5, Monday through Friday, and will get to things when they get to them. There is no way for us as students to urge them to move any faster, nor can our advisor in the Office of Student Activities urge them to advance the process. Since publicity cannot start until both sides have signed the contracts, really all that AB and Carnival Committee can do is sit back and wait for higher powers to do their job, hopefully in a timely manner.
In reality, the students at Carnegie Mellon only need to know when and where to pick up wristbands for the comedian and concert and who the acts are. Everyone knows when and where Carnival is going to happen (we have a few days off classes that week and the collection of structures that is soon to be built on the Morewood parking lot is pretty hard to miss). Doing a round of publicity without the concert and comedian information on it is simply a waste of money, something that Carnival Committee cannot afford.
I acknowledge the fact that The Tartan is constantly working to bring positive change to our community, many times using the Forum section as the vehicle, but in this case I feel that the outcome is the opposite of what was intended.
First, the factual errors and lack of research prior to writing that is obvious to anyone whom the piece is aimed at. These errors only serve to make hard-working students even more frustrated with the protracted contracting negotiations.
This piece should be written about how the bureaucratic machine that is the administration of Carnegie Mellon University should be reformed, not a watered-down jab at Carnival Committee. Only when criticism is on target and factually accurate will it have its intended outcome.
It is my hope that The Tartan is more successful in the future with the writing of critical essays about the issues that the campus community faces.