Evolutions of ACE

Since the adoption of the neighborhood system, ACE has struggled to define its place in the scheme of social programming at Williams. Over the past few years, ACE has lost much of the grandeur and excitement that used to surround its events. With the restructuring of the neighborhood systems last year, ACE was given the opportunity to step back up and reassume the role as the large all-campus programming body on campus.

As part of the effort to redefine our role on campus, ACE made a few structural changes coming into this year, the biggest being the re-establishment of the general entertainment (GE) committee. ACE previously consisted of three committees: First Fridays, concerts and Stressbusters. The GE committee is now responsible for more campus events (more parties and bringing more acts to campus, amongst others).

I know that there have been many grumblings on campus that GE has not lived up to its promise of more programming. We know that many of you feel that we have failed to fill the hole left after the end of the neighborhood-thrown parties. And for this we apologize, but we also ask for your patience and understanding. This committee is new and we are experiencing some growing pains. Not fully established or sure of what its budget would be until the end of September, GE needed a little time to develop our vision for how this new part of ACE will work. I promise you that we are working hard to build up our programming schedule and give you all the parties and events you have been clamoring for.

Another big change to ACE this year was the restructuring of the ACE concert schedule. We wanted to respond to the disappointments after last year’s Spring Fling concert and bring a high quality concert to the campus. So ACE, in a break from its traditional schedule, moved its large concert from the weekend of Spring Fling to the festivities of Homecoming. Moving the concert afforded ACE the ability to explore and book acts that are traditionally more expensive and harder to book in the spring. And we think it was a great success!

The ACE concerts committee was able to put on a show that both we, and the rest of campus, were excited about. An ACE concert has not sold out in over five years, and this year the Kid Cudi concert sold out in a little over seven hours of sale time (including both the two-hour presale and the online sale). And while we have yet to calculate the exact revenue of this past weekend’s concert and determine the concert schedule for the remainder of the year, we are very excited about our prospects. The talent from the concert expressed their appreciation for the fans they found in front of them, embracing them and their craft. It is this passion from the talent and the attendees alike that we work so hard to make these concerts happen, and we thank Wallpaper, Chip Da Ripper, Kid Cudi and you for helping to realize this. There is still much work to be done to ensure that we can continue to provide the best possible outside entertainment, but this past weekend’s act has shown the community a model that we believe will be sustainable for years to come.

Last spring College Council showed great receptivity in allowing ACE to try something new and awarded us our concerts budget earlier than it had in previous years. With the success of this concert, College Council and the rest of campus have seen a glimpse of what ACE is capable of when given the time and resources. We hope that you all will allow us the opportunity to do something like this again, and we look forward to your continued involvement, feedback and appreciation regarding the work that goes into these performances.

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