BY: KIERAN ROCK & KELLY BURNS
Assistant Features Editor and Production Editor/Assistant A&E Editor
The Quadrangle broke the news on Twitter on April 12 that the fireworks show planned for Jasper Days had been canceled. Manhattan College Student Activities Department announced it on their own Twitter on April 16. Student Activities announced on their twitter yesterday that the fireworks show has been replaced with a comedy show by Saturday Night Live cast member, Brooks Wheelan.
The cancelation of the fireworks came after the company was unable to obtain a permit for the show, which was planned as a 10-minute show in Van Cortland Park. The company then offered a three-minute display to be set off from the roofs of the academic buildings on campus.
John Bennett, Director of Student Activities, explained the decision not to have the fireworks. First, Bennett said, that the show was not what Student Activities ordered, or to the magnitude or quality of what they were told they would get. Another reason Bennett cited was the safety concern, “the school thought there was a safety concern having them so close to the students,” Bennett said.
In response to the cancellation, Student Activities worked quickly to find a replacement for the Saturday night portion of the newly dubbed Jasper Days. They settled on a comedy performance by a current SNL cast member Brook Wheelan.
Wheelan joined Saturday Night Live this past September as a featured player. He studied comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedy troop started by SNL alum Amy Poehler, and worked as a contributor to CollegeHumor.
Student reactions to the changes from SpringFest have ranged immensely since the announcement of Kellie Pickler as the headliner and Craig Campbell as the other featured artist.
After the announcement of the cancellation of the fireworks students took to Twitter once again to express their anger for the changes that have come about this year. The SpringFest concert took major fire from administration for the issues surrounding last year’s Alesso concert.
Student Activities tweeted at one student who called them “selfish” for taking away the weekend. Student Activities responded, “probably the most inappropriate tweet we’ve received. Wknd was canceled and we had to beg on behalf of students for anything.”
Not all reactions have been bad, after the news of an SNL cast member would be performing freshman Darby Powell was excited even before it was announced who would be performing. “Absolutely excited, anyone from SNL would be amazing,” she said.
Bennett said he thinks that the SNL performer would be a welcome replacement to the canceled fireworks. “The firework show was a very cool idea, but the comedian show will probably end up having more people at it. It wasn’t our first choice, but two weeks out, it’s a good choice,” he said.
The Jasper Days activities will take place on April 26 and 27, it will include a concert from Craig Campbell, dorm wars and now a comedy performance by Brooks Wheelan. The performance will be free and will not require tickets. It will be on April 26 at 8 p.m. in Smith Auditorium.