This article has been updated as of 6/4/16.
At the beginning of each summer, the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB) sends out a survey via email asking students to rate the choices listed for acts to bring to campus, such as one for the fall concert.
According to Max Maurice, vice president for programming of the Student Association (SA) and a junior majoring in electrical engineering, how the students fill out those surveys and the artists that they vote for are really taken into account when the SA selects the acts for these events. Because of the unique way the SA has created its categories, you may be filling out the survey incorrectly, so Pipe Dream got the breakdown on how to do it the right way.
When filling out the survey, which was sent to all registered students via email, several artists are listed with drop-down menus. Often, it’s difficult for a voter’s feelings about an artist or genre to be captured using a scale of “I don’t know them,” “No!!,” “Meh” and “Dying to see!!”
“Many people think of [‘I don’t know them’] as ‘negative points’ against the performer when voting, but that’s not the case,” Maurice wrote in an email. “This choice is just further insight for us to see who we should be looking at in terms of name recognition.”
Maurice described the “Meh” selection as a “choice with the mindset of ‘Yeah, I’ve heard of them; yeah, I know a couple of their songs … but I don’t know if I’d pay to go see them.’”
In other words, If you shrugged when you read an artist’s name, “Meh” is probably the right choice.”
The “Dying to see!!” option, however, should be selected for acts you would love to have on campus or the act you like best in each category, even if you don’t love the particular artist. This selection, much like the “No!!” choice, is considered more strongly by the SAPB than the other, more lukewarm selections.
“SAPB [Student Association Programming Board] always tries to reach out to and book major ‘Dying to see!!’ performers that do well on the survey,” Maurice wrote.
On the survey, for each genre listed, there is a blank space for students to enter suggestions for artists to be added to the consideration pool.
“While there are many more silly suggestions than not, those are extremely helpful as well because a lot of people suggest very cool performers that we initially hadn’t thought of,” Maurice wrote. “Even when we already know a suggestion is completely out of budget/ridiculous, it helps us determine what kind of music or name we should look for.”
He explained that although the SA is not always able to book the most popular artist, it works hard to make selections based on the data collected from these surveys, giving more consideration to artists and genres that are most popular among BU students.
“I hope that students recognize and understand that every single vote on the survey matters and we heavily inspect it to figure out what people want to see,” Maurice wrote.
“The combination of properly analyzing the response of each of these questions is what helps SAPB (hopefully) book an artist that best reflects the students’ general interest.”