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Archive for Saturday, August 15, 1992

KU EDITION

August 15, 1992

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Behind the concerts, comedy acts, movies, trips and forums put on by Student Union Activities are 12 students who literally run the show.

SUA's student president, vice presidents and committee coordinators volunteer as many as 40 hours each week planning, negotiating and directing events targeted for student entertainment. This year's SUA president is Todd Hatton.

"Their experience is something unique, they learn a lot about the entertainment field, plus what it takes to produce a major event," said Sue Morrell, SUA administrative adviser.

The students do the organizational work from the initial concept of a show to the final performance.

For legal reasons, Morrell signs every finance form, offer letter and contract, but she said she has the students co-sign everything they write.

"IT REALLY is their show," Morrell said. "I won't sign it unless they put their name on there too, so they feel it's 50-50 responsibility."

Morrell said the freedom and flexibility she allows the students is worth it. Last year, SUA organized over 300 events from foreign films to a spring break trip to Panama City, Fla. SUA also brought in the bands Pearl Jam, The Pixies and The Violent Femmes for concerts.

"Last year we had a very good year," Morrell said. "Day on the Hill alone had 18,000 people and that really took me aback."

SUA recreation and travel coordinator Trevor Thompson said a weekend in Chicago, "Ferris Buehler style," is being planned for Oct. 17. Also a hiking and mountain biking trip Sept. 19 and two Kansas City Chiefs games against the Steelers on Oct. 25 and the Redskins on Nov. 15 are in the works.

On the forum side, SUA will present the president of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a student leader from China's Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest as speakers.

FILMS HAVE been a primary source of revenue for SUA. Feature films including ``Wayne's World'' and ``Lethal Weapon III'' will be shown in the Kansas Union evenings through the week, and midnight shows including "Animal House'' and Monty Python movies will be held on Fridays and Saturdays.

SUA plans to show ``Fletch'' as the 9 p.m. Movie on the Hill on Aug. 19. Also during the week before classes, SUA will sponsor Beach and Boulevard on Aug. 20 and a carnival-style festival with a dunk tank and a Velcro wall Aug. 21.

Morrell said the students should be able to contract some fairly notable figures, but locating facilities to host forums and performers this fall may be SUA's biggest problem.

Construction on the Kansas Union forced SUA to relocate offices to the Burge Union until October. It will also close the Kansas Union ballroom where most of SUA's forums have been held.

"WE'LL TRY to program up until the ballroom closes in November, but losing the ballroom kills us because we've already lost Hoch (Auditorium)," Morrell said. Hoch was put out of commission by a fire last summer.

Morrell said that Pearl Jam had agreed to do two small concerts in the ballroom next year, but SUA's rock concert days are limited. The new Lied Center for Performing Arts, scheduled to open in 1993, will accommodate comedians and speakers, but isn't built for a rock concert crowd.

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