Students React to Dean Booker’s Proposed Changes To The Homecoming Hip-Hop Concert

Torrence Banks, News Editor

On Friday, Morehouse’s Maroon Tiger TV media outlet reported on Morehouse’s Associate Vice President of Student Life Kevin Booker’s proposal to require the Morehouse student body to have a cumulative GPA of a 3.2 in order to have a another hip-hop concert at the school. Students have taken issue with the idea that the concert’s future could be decided by Morehouse College students’ GPA.

“I don’t agree with the idea of holding a 3.2 GPA due to the fact that it feels like high-school,” Morehouse junior biology major Jordan Malone said. “A homecoming event shouldn’t be based off of academic statistics and only should be if we had a GPA of 2.8 or even a 2.5. If we did the same for tailgate or anything else, alumni would be heated.”

Clark Atlanta junior philosophy major Kel-Asia L. Chamblee also had a problem with Booker using GPA as a barrier for the concert. Chamblee believes that using the GPA numerical system to determine students’ value is not only frowned upon, but also resembles systematic oppression. 

“GPAs are not always the most reflective of a students intellect,” Chamblee said. “Though I do understand his concerns, it seems like the wrong approach considering the implications of education in black communities. Most Morehouse students aren’t performing well, but that starts internally with professors who have been hired and that are hired in the future.”

Morehouse senior business marketing major Ezekiel Harris doesn’t believe that it’s fair to take away something that students have been looking forward to all year. Considering the amount of anticipation for the concert, it doesn’t really make sense to cancel it.

“Typically everyone looks forward to homecoming week every year, especially the concerts,” Harris said. “Potentially canceling an entire event is ridiculous.”

Senior Kenton McNeal agrees with Booker’s decision to link the hip-hop concert to GPA. He believes that this proposal will allow students to focus on what it really means to be a Morehouse man.

“I don’t think a 3.2 is hard to maintain for the student body,” McNeal said. “Dean Booker’s proposal is an attempt to encourage students to perform better overall and get back the idea of what a Morehouse man is.”

Booker believes that a 3.2 GPA shows that students have worked hard for the concert. Booker came up with this proposal after he reflected on some of the bad behavior and experiences that he had at the concert. 

“Students attend and sometimes while they are there are not exhibiting the best behavior or the expected behavior,” Booker said. “ Rowdy, high, drunk, and in some cases maybe violent, pushing, shoving.

“We expect some shoving because of the excitement of the music, things of that nature. But, when you’re pushing over barricades, bending barricades, that’s a problem.”

Booker mentioned that he had one officer take out 75 male and female students because they were smoking on the floor of Forbes Arena. He believes that this is a problem because it shows that students do not care about the impact that  it has on the campus.

Despite this incident, Chamblee doesn’t believe that smoking was the biggest issue at the concert and that there are other issues that deserve more attention. There are other issues like sexual assault during homecoming that have gone unaddressed. 

“Yes, smoking and drinking are wrong but it’s not the most damning issue of all,” Chamblee said. “I witnessed a young lady get jumped by several individuals as the concert continued on. I saw men get very violent in the mosh pit. There were bigger issues that were not addressed. Issues that jeopardizes safety for all those in attendance.”

(Photo Via Maroon Tiger)