Letter to the Editor: Enriching Campus Life

By Jeremy Voros, Free Film Series Board Chairman, ASUU Presenter’s Office

Editor:

In the April 3 edition of The Daily Utah Chronicle, the Chronicle editorial board stated that the Associated Students of the University of Utah Presenter’s Office “rarely sponsors events that appeal to, or enrich, students’ academic or social lives.”

This is in fact the guiding principle of the Presenter’s Office. The Presenter’s Office serves the needs of U students by presenting diverse cultural events that enrich, educate, entertain and enlighten the university and surrounding communities.

By attacking the Presenter’s Office with blatantly erroneous claims, the editorial board betrayed the trust of the campus community as well as its own journalistic integrity.

The editorial board criticized the Concerts Board and the Free Film Series based on entirely fabricated information.

Their editorial claims the “Free Film Series shows DVDs of low-intelligence films like ‘Scary Movie 2.'” First of all, the Free Film Series never showed “Scary Movie 2.”

Some of the films actually screened this year include several advanced screenings of films such as “O,” and “Spy Game,” as well as two national short film festivals, silent films with a live organist accompaniment, the new Warren Miller film “Cold Fusion,” an Errol Morris documentary and classics such as “Psycho.”

Films have been screened in all formats from 35mm film to 16mm film to DVD and have provided intelligent, artistic and educational programming to more than 2,500 students for free.

The Chronicle also lambasted the Presenter’s Office for poor student attendance at the Stefon Harris Quartet performance.

At the time the editorial was published, Stefon Harris had not yet performed.

The editorial was published on April 3, Stefon Harris performs on April 8. Additionally, the editorial board’s claim of poor student attendance at Presenter’s Office events is also groundless.

At the sold-out John Scofield Band concert on March 29, students comprised 71 percent of the audience.

While The Chronicle insists that the “Presenter’s Office leaders seem to be organizing the event schedule based on what their parents want to see,” actual ticket sales at this concert and many other concerts such as Pharcyde and G. Love and Special Sauce indicate otherwise.

Concerts and films comprise only a small part of the Office’s yearly programming. In response to international events, the Presenter’s Office Speakers Program organized the 9/11 Lecture Series, featuring distinguished experts from around the country; last weekend, the Performing Arts Board presented world renowned chamber ensemble The Ahn Trio performing a world premiere work commissioned especially for the event; the Coffee House Board presented exciting events like a hip-hop poetry slam with a live band; the New Development Board brought Dr. David Kirk, Chief Scientist for Nvidia video game company; Sherman Alexie, poet, author, and recipient of the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award, spoke at Kingsbury Hall to nearly 1,000 people, more than half of whom were students.

Students involved with the Presenter’s Office provide entertaining programming that contributes to a social and intellectual campus community.

The Presenter’s Office is programming by the students, for the students.

We invite you to support our dynamic campus community by attending Presenter’s Office events, or by joining one of our many programming boards.

Applications for all Presenter’s Office positions are available. Come to the ASUU Presenter’s Office Open House April 11 at 4 p.m. in the ASUU Conference Room and find out how you can be involved in bringing what you want to campus. The students of the ASUU Presenter’s Office endorse this letter as representative of their views.

Jeremy Voros, Free Film Series Board Chairman, ASUU Presenter’s Office