The Plattsburgh State Activities Coordination Board’s Entertainment Committee fulfilled years-long requests made by numerous students when they brought a well-known celebrity to campus Monday night.
PSUC senior Katie Gessner said that when her friends found out she was a member of the committee, they asked her why Plattsburgh never had anyone famous come to campus.
Gessner said she knows a lot of people who love MTV’s “Girl Code.” She herself compared it to a bible and follows many of the stars on Instagram, where she saw photos of them performing on college campuses.
When she first suggested Jessimae Peluso last semester, the committee did not think it would happen. Entertainment Committee Co-chair Leigha Merwin said it was a long journey to get others aboard because Vice President of Activities Lisa Scivolette and the Center for Student Involvement Director Cori Jackson expressed some concerns. Many people in their office did not know who Peluso was, while others thought she would be too famous for the committee’s humble budget.
Despite others’ hesitations, Merwin said the committee did not want to give up. She said she knew the event would be a huge hit, but they just had to convince everyone else. They contacted Peluso’s agent, got a price, compared the numbers and fought for the OK once they realized how doable it was.
“We made the Facebook event, and it skyrocketed. It took that Facebook event to put it out there, tell people it’s happening, get the word out, and people flocked to it,” Merwin said.
Overnight, more than 100 people responded, saying they would attend. It was then everyone seriously considered how successful the event may be.
By Monday, 488 students said they would attend the event. Merwin hoped the turnout would be as good as it looked online.
Although the event did not start until 8 p.m., a decent line was formed by 7 p.m. When the doors opened, seats quickly filled up. More than 400 heads were counted. Many people were left without a seat, but that did not discourage anyone.
Gessner said she thought the students could benefit from the experience.
“I thought it would be a good thing, especially now because finals are coming up, and everyone’s stressing, and everyone’s freaking out, so now it’s a good time to laugh,” Gessner said.
Merwin said she hopes this event brings attention to PSUC as well as her committee. She joined as a freshman, and since then, she has noticed that attendance has slipped, but she doesn’t think too much has changed, at least not promotion-wise.
“It’s just such a good feeling knowing we all worked so hard for this, and here it is happening, and people are excited about it,” Merwin said. “That’s what feels the best because a lot of times, we’re like, ‘Oh, will you come to our event?’ and it’s like we’re begging people, but people are asking us about this event, and that’s what makes us feel so good.”
Each semester, the committee hosts a diverse array of performers, from illusionists to balloon-animal artists. While the audiences for these lesser-known artists haven’t had big turnouts like Peluso’s, the smaller cost allows for more of these performances to take place.
With each artist, the committee budgets for their transportation, hospitality and food. Peluso’s performance took a big chunk out of this semester’s budget, but still allowed for Sailesh the Hypnotist and Plattsburgh’s Got Talent, happening May 6 during Spring Carnival.
Next semester, Merwin said the committee is planning to promote the club during Homecoming Weekend. As for performances, they’re looking to switch things up. A murder mystery event and an interactive salsa group have come up in discussions.
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