At the end of last semester, Campus Life instituted a new policy that restricted official student meetings after the last day of classes to give more students time to read and study in preparation for finals.
This policy meant that the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club would be unable to have their Senior Show, which is normally the Saturday after the final day of classes. Noah Pierce, the organization’s vice president, started a petition that received more than 200 signatures in 24 hours.
Pierce said after submitting the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club show dates in the beginning of the year, the senior show was repeatedly denied multiple times and they were not sure why. The club was then informed by Megan Runge, event coordinator, of the policy change.
The president and secretary of the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club then met with Earnest Washington, the director of campus life, multiple times.
Washington said the time after the last day of classes are known as “reading days” and are not meant for programming.
Pierce said the organization was at a loss of what to do, so he started the petition on Change.org on Feb. 27.
“Every year we have our Senior Show, a show celebrating each of our seniors and giving a tear-filled send off, on the last Saturday before finals,” Pierce wrote on change.org. “It has been my pleasure and that of my fellow seniors to participate in this send off and give previous seniors the heartfelt goodbye that they deserve. But that might not happen for us this year…”
Although the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club only needs desk attendants working in the Marano Campus Center to open the auditorium, Campus Life does not have the staff to set up for a picnic a sorority had scheduled the same day. Campus Life denied the request of the sorority and therefore denied the request of the improv group.
Pierce said that the organization used social media to circulate the petition.
“The amount of support we got was heartwarming,” Pierce said. “We even had an alumni of [Shaun Cassidy] offer to pay for us to find a new venue if we could find a theater downtown.”
Pierce said the Senior Show is a celebration of the seniors.
“It is a very sentimental time and it really means a lot,” Pierce said. “We’ve been waiting for it for four years now, seeing all the other seniors go before us, not just to myself but I didn’t think it was fair to all the other people, especially ones that have been in the club since day one, that they didn’t get the opportunity.”
Sophomore Nathaniel Bates believes that it should never have been in question as to whether or not the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club could have their senior show.
“I would like to know what the benefits are from cutting the senior show are,” Bates said. “Many students have used this group as a place to express themselves and they should have a proper, exclusive goodbye to remember as their last performance.”
Pierce said that Campus Life has been helpful.
“We are very happy that things got resolved correctly,” Pierce said. “We hope to continue a working relationship with [Campus Life] because other than this one instance, they have been great to us.”
Washington said the policy was not properly displayed to students this year. He ultimately decided to make the necessary accommodations for the club to have their senior show.
According to Pierce, the club tried to find another date to host the Senior Show, but could not due to an intercollegiate improv jam the week before. The organization also contemplated having their last show in a residence hall.
“My fellow seniors and I have waited four years for this day,” Pierce wrote on change.org. “It is a 26-year-old tradition of the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club and we hoped that we would finally get our chance. I love my fellow troupe members and I believe they deserve their moment in the spotlight.”