Following an April 9 Instagram post detailing a series of changes to the format and rules of the annual Spring Splash festival, the Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) received considerable backlash. This reaction was due to students’ frustration at these changes which included an elimination of guest tickets (meaning only UCR students can attend the event), mandatory completion of a safety module online and scheduling of the concert between 2-7 p.m. on May 4.
In response to these concerns, ASPB Chairperson Anahi Cruz offered the Highlander insight into the rationale behind these changes, and emphasized the increased quality she hopes to add to the event in its new format and policies.
Interview questions and responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
Highlander: What are the changes being made to this year’s Spring Splash event? Where did they originate?
Anahi Cruz: The past couple of years, we have noticed a negative shift in the environment at our large scale events. At our concerts, more and more students are showing up highly intoxicated and are engaging in dangerous behaviors, creating an unsafe environment for everyone. With that being said, we felt that it was our responsibility to change the operations of how we execute our shows.
This year for Spring Splash, the safety of UCR students is our top priority. Therefore, we have decided to forgo guest tickets sales. Along with that, all UCR students are required to take a safety module intended to bring awareness to the dangers of alcohol and drugs which are prohibited at Spring Splash.
What is the rationale behind these changes?
We understand that students are wondering why these changes are happening. In terms of the guest tickets, we have noticed a pattern of guests utilizing vital resources intended for the UCR population. We have medical resources and a significant police and security presence that is all paid for by students. If those resources are used up by non-UCR guests, we worry that is taking away from UCR students who these concerts are intended for in the first place.
As for the safety module, that is a common UC practice that we decided to adopt as an extra measure for safety. Other schools such as UCSD have required their students to take a safety module before entering their concert. We hope that this module reminds students to refrain from the dangerous drug and alcohol usage and from behaviors that can cause harm to others and themselves. We want students to remember: Don’t be a bystander, Be a Highlander!
What do you want students to take away from this year’s new procedures?
We understand that these changes may come as a shock to students. However, we hope that they support us in our efforts to make our large scale events safer for everyone. Our concerts are some of the most fun and exciting events on campus and if we do not make an active effort to improve and change them, we are afraid this privilege can be revoked at any time.
How can students learn more about these changes?
For any further questions about the module, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Spring Splash, please visit our website springsplash.ucr.edu.