Undemocratic demeanor steals the show


The Mirror reporter

Showtime. The ultimate display of SPASH student’s musical talent. Every year in late April or early May, the SPASH auditorium is vivified with their abilities and the subsequent awe and applause. Considering their importance, one may be surprised at the amount of input these students are barred from giving.

The show is directed by three staff members, each a hard working individual trying to do their best to ensure an enjoyable show. However, these efforts and the stress attributed to such roles can all too easily create a dictatorial and uncomfortable setting. Eventually, it affects the students, and what is meant to be a fun event soon turns into a part-time job.

The business place during work hours was a madhouse this year. If one took a small walk down the hall, they would have found a number of angry students, (many in the middle of a petty argument) upset students, and occasionally even students crying. The show proved to bring out the most extreme emotions of people, and thus, the toxicity present could be felt by a human hand. On the stage, overly critical directorial critiquing could be heard, followed closely by inaudible but perceptively angry murmuring.

Many of these students have gone through this for the past three years, saying the situation has very slightly gotten worse, and the power of student input has become less influential. One anonymous band student has voiced her thoughts. “They’ve started to do away with traditions, like including a rap song, and I think that’s what has most of the students upset. Especially because there’s nothing we can really do about it.”

In 2016, the traditional rap song was officially cut from the show by the directors. In response, at the end of the song “Two Step,” students banded together and quickly assembled to rap two minutes of Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.” They called the song “Can’t Hold My Two Step.” I was in the audience at the time, and I didn’t notice anything too out of place. Of course, I wasn’t backstage where apparently, this fun, two-minute skit evoked words such as “betrayal.”

In response to “Can’t Hold My Two Step,” the directors created a contract for the students. By signing the contract, the student hereby signed their voice away and promised to not alter the show in any way. If broken, the student could face a ban from the show or even be kicked out of choir.

While I personally don’t believe in breaking rules to break them, I am a firm believer in challenging the unjust use of authority. Showtime has been around for longer than I have, and longer than any director has been at SPASH, and it has always been about going up on stage and having fun. No one wants to completely get rid of the directors’ control. In fact, most people can acknowledge the fact that the directors have an incredibly important role, students just want to have a little bit more influence in what has been dubbed, by the directors, to be  “the student show.”