As a vast majority of campus is aware, a decision was announced to terminate the contract with our scheduled Wittfest headliner, B.o.B. Although this decision was one in which many did not want to hear, it was made out of consideration to respect all students, faculty and staff. It is important not to dwell too much on the decision but to rather move forward and keep the momentum and excitement towards Wittfest going as it quickly approaches.
Union Board finds it especially important to respect and uplift all students represented on campus, no matter their beliefs. Our mission itself outlines the importance of uplifting all cultures and focuses on inclusivity. Wittfest is a celebratory event, not one in which oppression of a group of people should be present in any way. B.o.B’s anti-Semitic views affect people on our own campus, and we do not in any way want to offend or oppress any group of individuals.
Regardless of the number of individuals this was affecting, they are still part of this community and deserve to be respected. Thus, the decision to cancel B.o.B’s performance was made. This oppression is something we simply cannot tolerate as a board or as a university, as we strive to encourage acceptance, tolerance and inclusivity as a part of our programming. As we move forward, we want students to look forward to the entire day we have planned, rather than focusing solely on the new headliner. Union Board appreciates the support we have received from both faculty and students, and we are grateful that we have this opportunity to program for campus.
While we understand that students were excited about our previously selected performer, we would like to encourage students to partake in the 12 other hours we programmed. We have completely redesigned the day, and we want to get our campus excited about these new additions to Wittfest.
We will begin the day with a Food Truck Festival, continue the fun with a BBQ and Bluegrass Festival, followed by student performers and a rave. We will end the night with our main concert performance and the newest and most exciting event, Paint U: a paint rave. With all that being said, the headliner is only one hour of a 13 hour day, so there are many options for music, food and fun. We hope that students take full advantage of the entire day and all of the excitement we have planned.
Looking ahead, we are excited to be welcoming a new performer to campus and we hope to be announcing this headliner very soon. No matter who the new performer may be, Wittfest’s goal is to engage all of campus in a traditional event that so many enjoy and to come together to enjoy each other’s company. We are so excited to show campus what we have programmed for this year’s event, and we look forward to experiencing this special day with campus as we round out the school year.
Annie Carroll & Veronica Bidwill – Union Board Co-Presidents