Student bands may soon have the opportunity to perform on the Townhouse Greens, thanks to a new policy drafted by Student Government Association (SGA) President Andrew Messick, ‘19, and Townhouse Senator Alec Bernstein, ‘19.
“People were asking for this when I did my rounds last semester”, Bernstein said when asked what prompted him to write the new policy over winter break. “Right now, the perception is that you can’t play music [live]. The new policy that we’re doing allows for that, during the warmer months- we were trying to do it every 2 weeks and we got feedback saying that perhaps we should do it only during the warmer months of the school year, specifically after spring break in the spring semester and after the first week of classes through the week before Thanksgiving break, so those will be the time periods in which students can play music.”
Although policy regarding live music in the “To The Point” student handbook is sparse— stating only that “Student bands are allowed to rehearse in the suites, apartments, and townhouses Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.” The new policy would allow student bands to perform on Saturday nights at the river end of the Greens, where the stage for the Summer River Concert Series is typically located.
Until the policy is finalized, SGA will be running a pilot program to test out the new protocol. Students interested in performing will have to meet a few requirements— they must sign up for a timeslot with their band’s name and the genre of music the band will perform, and the band must have played together before prior to the performance. The policy applies only to bands entirely consisted of current St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) students; bands with SMCM students and additional members will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Non-student or alumni bands would not be affected by the policy change, and will still have to plan their performances through the Office of Student Activities.
The pilot program expects to set up a stage for live music once a month between 9 and 11 p.m., with a possibility of an 8-9 p.m. open mic. Bernstein said “the times that you would be able to play stop at 11 p.m. due to county ordinances, and it’s really hard to get around that, from what I’ve seen”, but said he would be interested in expanding the pilot program depending on student input.
The current draft of the policy states that SGA will provide equipment for these performances, but Bernstein noted that SGA equipment is limited to microphones and speakers. He hopes SGA will set aside enough money to purchase their own tent and stage, to save on the cost of hosting these performances down the road. According to Bernstein, currently “every single performance anyone wants to do (with a tent and stage) is predicated on having like, $2,000 already” because of the equipment rental fees.
Bernstein also mentioned that students with an eye on changing policy should be aware of the Student Initiatives Committee, a group of 16 students focused on influencing resources for students mental and reproductive health.The Student Initiatives Committee community letter can be seen on page (whatever).
Bands interested in performing on the Greens under the new policy should contact Alec Bernstein via his email, firstname.lastname@example.org.