Concert and costs: Claflin students speak out about Homecoming

By: Destini Crum, Kierra Carter and Marlon Howard
Nov 13, 2015
Bryson Tiller TextingIt’s about that time – Homecoming.

Claflin University students are ready – and they have opinions on key ingredients of the festivities from the entertainers to the cost of events for them and neighboring students.
The 2015 Homecoming officially kicks off Nov. 14 and will end on the 22nd. The theme is #NWTS, which stands for Nothing Was The Same.
 This year’s festivities include the concert, the annual crowning ceremony, the gospel explosion, the dorm step show, the hypnosis show, poetry night, the ‘90s day party, casino night, a cookout on the yard, the annual parade, a worship service and the Founders’ Day convocation.
Students are looking most forward to the concert, which will take place in JTK gymnasium at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. The artists are Wale and Bryson Tiller.
Claflin senior Rayne Ocasio said, "To have a talented, established artist such as Wale and a talented up-and-coming artist such as Bryson Tiller come to the university is a big step, and I look forward to the performances."
Junior Teron Staton, “This will have to be the best one (Homecoming), mainly because of the concert. No one really expected Claflin to get artists like Wale and Bryson Tiller. They are like two of the hottest artists in the game right now.”
Past Homecoming concerts have been disappointing to some students.
Junior Malik Harvey said, “I didn’t really enjoy the other two Homecomings because I didn’t really vibe with the artists they got.”
The entertainers dictate the mood about whether to participate in Homecoming events, Harvey said.
“I feel like the Homecoming concerts should have artists that everyone has heard of. The last couple of years, I haven’t heard of the artists that were selected.
“So that means I couldn’t vibe to their music and (that) made me not want to go, but I feel like this year they got an artist that everyone heard of and everyone can vibe to,” Harvey said.
For seniors, this Homecoming offers more events than their previous three.
"My freshman year was the best Homecoming … but this year I see a lot more events for the undergrad students," senior Danielle Coburn said.
This Homecoming is also a big realization for the class of 2016 before seniors’ college careers end.
"This is my last Homecoming before I enter into the real world. After this, I'll be a ‘real adult,’ so I want to have all of the fun that I can,” Coburn said.
A key change for students is the way Homecoming is financed. No longer do students have to pay out of pocket for tickets, which were handed out Nov 4-6 and are being distributed again Nov. 9-11.
Claflin incorporated fees for homecoming into tuition.
“Yeah, I guess it is a good thing. They take money out for everything else, so why not?” Harvey said. “I mean why wouldn’t it be free? You’re paying for it at the end of the day anyway.”
“I think it is a good idea, it’s smart. To be honest I’m thankful for it because you don’t have to take money out of your physical pocket,” Harvey said.
With artists the likes of Wale and Bryson Tiller performing, the Claflin Homecoming is sure to get a buzz from other students locally.
But if they want to attend the concert, the general admission price will be $30. That compares to a $10 general admission for South Carolina State University’s recent concert.
“I don’t think it’s wrong. I would do the same thing too. They got to get their profit somehow, and they (S.C. State) charge us to go to their events,” Harvey said. “Yeah, $30 can be a little too much, but if not $30, probably $15 or $20. But $30 is not bad for the performers that we have this year.”
Staton agrees. “Nah, I don’t think it’s too much because we got Wale and Bryson Tiller.”
But a lot depends on how the show is set up with the entertainers having freedom to perform their songs, Staton said. If Claflin “does not try to make them ‘Claflin Friendly,’ it should be worth it.”
Junior Nick Stewart is optimistic.
“I feel like this year's Homecoming is going to set the bar for the rest of the Homecomings because nothing will be same, and I mean that,” Stewart said. “I am looking forward to the concert because Bryson Tiller and Wale are my favorite artists.”
Freshman and sophomore students are equally looking forward to the events.
“I am excited because this is my first Homecoming at Claflin and the way people are hyping it up is making me even more anxious,” freshman Brandon Gallman said.
“I am looking forward to the car smash and bonfire the most because I love it when our school fellowships together with clean fun,” sophomore Jade Crosby said.
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