Students react to Spring Fest poll results

Electronic and pop dominate as students' top genre choices for Spring Fest


Less than six percent of the student body voted in this year’s Student Association (SA) Spring Fest Genre Poll.

The SA’s recently released poll showed electronic music as voters’ first choice. Earlier this month, undergraduate students were given the chance to vote on UBLinked for their top two choices of genre for Spring Fest. There were 1,119 students who took advantage of this opportunity.

Music genres on the poll included electronic, hip-hop, pop, R&B, rock, country and reggae. The top-picked genre was electronic, with a total of 414 counts (37 percent), and the second top pick was pop, which was eight counts behind with 406 votes (36.3 percent).

Hip-hop and rock were not far behind in the polls. They tallied counts at 399 (35.7 percent) and 396 (35.4), respectively. R&B, country and reggae combined for 41 percent of the total votes.

SA President James Ingram said he was “not surprised” by the outcome of the results generated by the poll, but admitted he “would have liked to see more” students vote. At the same time, he was happy that more than 1,000 students participated.

“If we do it again in the future, I’d like to see it be taken just a step further,” Ingram said.

He said he hopes to set up laptops in the Student Union and have students take the polls right away. He said it would be a great way to get more student participation input in the future.

Caleb Vaughn, a senior business administration major, thinks the results were “not fair” because it “didn’t represent the entire school.”

He does, however, understand how some may feel “frustrated” having voted and still not being able to get their genres as the top choice. If students want that to change, then it is important they vote, he said.

“If you didn’t vote, I don’t think you have the right to complain,” Vaughn said.

He was slightly surprised hip-hop was one of the top choices, despite the “outcry against hip-hop.”

Michelle Skillman, a senior biological sciences major, voted to hear rock and pop for Spring Fest and like Vaughn, found the results to be unfair.

“[We have] thousands of undergraduate students, so with less than a couple thousand people voting, the results are probably skewed,” she said.

Skillman was not surprised by the outcome of the votes, but was “mostly annoyed” with the results.

“We’ve been having the same type of music for the majority of concerts during my time here,” Skillman said. “I’m not surprised that the top couple of choices were so close, but I don’t think the results reflect the views of the students.”

Skillman does not have any specific requests for performers but wants “an actual musician and not someone with a computer.”

She has been disappointed with the Fall and Spring Fests during her time at UB. Although there were “some good shows, the majority of them were lacking,” she said.

Skillman suggests the SA set up a polling station or ballots in the Student Union as one way to reach out to students. She also said SA could gain access to the undergraduate list serve to send links to the polls through email because “far more people check their emails on a daily basis than a Facebook page for a student organization.”

Ashley Nguyen, a UB alumna who graduated last spring, still follows the SA Facebook page and wasn’t surprised by the results posted.

“I think it reflects the type of party music students like,” Nguyen said. “It was basically the same when I attended UB.”

Despite the low voter turnout, Christian Matthews, a senior biomedical sciences major, was not surprised by the results and thought the polls were “very fair.”

“I assumed that rap and electronic would be near the top, with rock not very far behind,” Matthews said. “Although I realized it’s impossible to not be slightly biased, most of my friends and classmates listen to at least one or more of those on their own and those genres are played almost exclusively at all social gatherings I’ve attended.”

Skillman thought it would benefit the students if the SA mixed their genres for Spring Fest.

“They would have to be genres or musicians that wouldn’t clash,” Skillman said. “Something like an Indie group and then EDM wouldn’t make much sense.”

Ingram would love to bring multiple genres onto next year’s Spring Fest, but he said it may not be possible. He said the SA is constrained by the available dates of artists and when is available UB.

“We’re going to be trying to bring in multiple genres, but I cannot make any guarantees,” Ingram said.

Matthews said he thinks the SA is doing the right thing by “bringing some kind of polling back.” He said he still feels “more can always be done” to make more students aware of the polls and make them more accessible.

Whether it is a poll or a survey, Matthews said it is the student body’s job to let the SA know where to start looking.

“As long as every student received an email or two with a link to the survey, there isn't an issue because it's all on the students and whether or not they cared enough to take the time to vote,” Matthews said.

Vaughn had commented on the Spring Fest Genre Poll results on Facebook, “Keep being transparent the people can’t complain. Keep it up! I’m loving the transparency.”

Vaughn elaborated on the comment by reminiscing Spring Fest 2011, when he said people labeled the event as “Fail Fest” and SA’s poll for the event was a mess. Vaughn said people did not feel like SA was being “forthright” with how they went with the process.

Vaughn said he feels SA is starting now to be more transparent, and he hopes they inform students as much as possible in the future.