To start, can you describe your role at BC and your main responsibilities?
I've been at BC now for seven years. I serve as one of our Associate Vice Presidents for Student Affairs, and I head up with what's called our Student Engagement Information Team. I work with the Office of Student Involvement. I also work with the Bowman AHANA Cultural Center, Graduate Student Life, and the Robsham Theater. I’m one of the advisors for UGBC, and so forth.
What were the main components of Marathon Monday that OSI is sponsoring and what was your role in its creation?
In addition to the roles mentioned earlier,I serve as one of the administrators on call. During the fall marathon, I received a call from BC police asking me to go over into the community to assist Boston police. They had reported that there were thousands of students blocking the roads and in the middle of the street. Those roads were open for public access. As a result of that, we received significant reports from Boston police and the community about the community disturbance.
Dr. Shawna Cooper-Gibson, our new Vice President for Student Affairs, and I were concerned about the reports that were coming in and we decided with our leadership team that we wanted to help to provide some alternative activities for students. We wanted to create an on campus environment where students would be able to be with their friends in a positive environment and be able to take advantage of contributing to that Boston College spirit along the marathon route.
[Mile 21] marks one of the most inspirational locations along the route. Students provide energy and enthusiasm after the runners have a long trek up Heartbreak Hill and we want to encourage and make sure that Boston College is providing that atmosphere for the runners as they come down the hill. So, the activities were timed in a way for students to be able to enjoy the early part of the morning and have some entertainment and then be able to go out to the marathon course to help cheer on the runners. After [the October marathon], we decided we needed to figure out what it would take for students to want to stay on campus and to be a part of the Marathon Monday tradition in a way that brings out the best in the Boston College community.
We held a series of dinners with the sophomore representation from UGBC and random sophomores as well. Part of that discussion centered around the Marathon Monday programming. They were pretty clear and said if you get a high level entertainer students are going to want to participate. We had those students, as well as UGBC sophomores and CAB members who do this on a regular basis, draw up a list of names of entertainers that would appeal to students. Then, we sent out the feelers through our agent who does that, and Jason Derulo was really excited about the prospect of being part of that Boston Marathon tradition. We convinced him to come to BC. Sometimes we get entertainers who happen to be on tour, but he's specifically coming to Boston for this event.
Will there be a limited number of tickets? How will the system of getting into the concert work compared to other concerts such as Stokes Set and Modstock?
Right now, we are anticipating that every student who wants to get a ticket will be able to get a ticket for free. We're looking at a capacity of 9000. We are going to require tickets and IDs because we want this to be for the community. If for some reason students would rather hang out on grass and watch the show, they can also do that without needing a ticket.
What are some other activities and events that are being provided on Marathon Monday besides the concert?
From 8 to 10 am, the back half of the field will have a big tent and under the tent will be a DJ, breakfast food for free from dining services, and bingo games with big prizes like an iPad or gold pass. We'll also be giving out Mile 21 t-shirts at the breakfast bingo. Then we'll move to the Mod Lot for the concert which is supposed to start at 10. It's not just going to be a concert, it's going to be a show. We've actually had to expand the stage because of the number of backup dancers that he's bringing. That is to end roughly at 12 but we hope it'll end a little bit earlier. We do recognize that the concert might still be going on when the elite runners are going through so we are strongly encouraging the students to go to the marathon to watch the runners as they come by. To motivate that, we're also going to set up a cheering section on the course. That's going to be on the lawn of the Same Nation's Church. UGBC will be out there giving out free bucket hats, noisemakers and other swag. For those who don't want to go to the course, we'll set up spike ball and cornhole and other activities like that. Then there is a possibility of getting some food trucks for the day. They may come for part of the concert and then stay for a little bit into the afternoon.
Besides yourself, who was the most helpful with creating this event and all of these opportunities for students?
I would say it was under the leadership of Dr. Cooper-Gibson who really empowered us and gave us the resources to do this. And then it's been myself, Claire Ostrander, the director of CAB, Kyle Neary, who works with CAB, and Matt Razek, who works with UGBC. All of whom are from the Office of Student Involvement. The students, Jack and Gianna from UGBC, and the CAB President and Vice President have also been very instrumental in helping with the concert. We also are having a trip to the Red Sox game the day of the marathon and Chris Darcy from Campus Ministry has agreed to help with the funding of that. The staff of the Connell Center for BC Athletics has also been helpful in working with the field day activities during the marathon. Again, we give credit to a lot of the students that we met with who provided some of the energy and enthusiasm for the ideas and helped us think about how we're gonna make this, hopefully, a successful day.
What would you define as the Boston College tradition for Marathon Monday?
I think what students are seeking on that day is to feel a sense of community and to be a part of a tradition that's bigger than themselves. The Boston Marathon has been run for over 100 years on or near our campus and we want students to celebrate that tradition and to do so in a safe and responsible way. We're trying to provide incentives for them to stay on campus and to enjoy being with one another while having some fun entertainment. They can be a part of that tradition of cheering on the runners during an exciting part of the marathon knowing that the runners only have five miles left to go. we get to help spur [the runners] on to finish while recognizing their incredible achievements.. There's many wonderful on campus and off campus charities that people are running for that we want to help highlight and support. We can do that as a BC community by helping to keep students on campus to have them just energized, enthusiastic, and feeling that sense of community. If we can provide entertainment for them to do that, and, hopefully, get them energized to then go out and cheer for the runners, I think that's a great day.
You’ve mentioned Modstock, which has accumulated some rumors as that event approaches. Some are saying that AJR will be performing. Can you confirm whether these rumors are true or not?
Well, I can't tell you who it is. But I can confirm that it’s not AJR.