The annual spring concert took place last Friday, April 15. Security for students and the artists was of major concern for the Social Activities Council (SAC) .
Sophomore journalism major and Security and Student Relations Coordinator Justin Mahan said the group was prepared to keep everyone safe.
“For every concert we will have a barricade set up in the front of the stage, which is typical for every concert anyone has ever been to. We will also have a rotation of spots throughout the entire building so every inch of that building [Spaulding Gymnasium] will be covered to keep people out of places they are not supposed to be and keep people safe wherever they are,” Mahan said.
He continued, “We have amped up the security measures as far as getting into the concert. We [students] will have walk through metal detectors instead of the wands like last year in hopes that it will speed up the check in process for everybody.”
Mahan said that the security staff is made up of the SAC E-board, new E-board elects, general members of the club and Greek Life organizations.
He also said that Campus Safety and Keene Police Department would be present.
“We are making sure people aren’t jumping or pushing one another, and that they are there to have a good time, but also keeping in mind, ‘hey you’re college kids, the college rules still apply while you’re at this concert.’ It’s not like you’re going to another venue. You’re on a college campus for a show that we are providing for you. We are not there to kick people out. We are there to make sure everyone is having a good time while keeping each other and themselves safe,” Mahan said.
Also, Mahan said that there will not be tolerance for misbehavior. “If we tell someone not to do something once then have to tell them again, then they are asked to leave. If they are assaulting or harassing anyone, we will ask them to leave with the help of Campus Safety and KPD,” Mahan said.
Senior SAC President and studio art and sociology major Natasha Young said throughout the four years she’s been apart of SAC, there hasn’t been many security problems.
“One of the bigger security issues I have ever dealt with was when we had Four Years Strong come last year. It was a free concert that we had in the fall and we had an individual who was not a student who twice jumped on top of the crowd and posed a safety risk for everyone there. He had to be detained and removed. At that specific concert there was a lot of the mosh pit scene, but it could come with the type of music,” Young said.
She continued, “You see the daily everyday stuff with people getting removed before even coming in because alcohol is found on them or drugs. People have gotten arrested before for stuff like that, but other than that we haven’t had any huge security concerns. I think our students are pretty respectful of the fact that we take this seriously and we don’t tolerate any sort of inappropriate behavior like that.”
Young said her biggest concern with the concert is having it in the gym because the gym is not made for a concert. She also said there aren’t appropriate green rooms for the performers, making it difficult for their personal security.
“When the artists are here, if they don’t have their own personal security guards then they have one of us at all times. They are constantly being escorted everywhere by one or two security members just to make sure students are not trying to jump on them and get at them. We had some issues last year with Big Sean’s tour bus because it’s kind of hard to miss when you have a big tour bus behind the gym,” Young said.
Junior management and safety major and Concert Coordinator Bryanna Pearson said she handles the performers on the day of the concert and communicates with other members of the club.
“I make sure Amy, the hospitality coordinator, has everything she needs, Justin has everything he needs and making sure the artist is doing okay because ultimately I’m their mouthpiece outside of their green room. I make sure they’re on time, and that we have all the production and the stage itself is what they want,” Pearson said.
Pearson said that some performers prefer to have one of the SAC security members and their bodyguards with them while they are on campus.
“They don’t know the venue so they want one of us to direct them. We have to protect them as much as possible, but we are not the TD Garden by any means,” Pearson said.
The Keene Police Department College Liason Kyle Macie was reached out to but was unavailable for comment.
Emma Hamilton can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org