Improving the Bop

Welcome to the Union message board. Here's your opportunity to tell us what you think of what we're doing on your behalf. Enjoy! - Oli Walker, Head of Media, Marketing and Design, http://www.YourUnion.netPlease post any requests for advice (about anything) on The Sinner's ADVICE board. Ta!

Improving the Bop

Postby Paranoid on Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:40 pm

There has been a thread on the sinner's main message board on this subject with many views being expressed. One of the final posts said that this message board would allow Union reps to respond and so I am re-posting my suggestions here, all references are linked to the sinners thread at: http://www.thesinner.net/messageboard-v ... hread=8298

Couple of points...

1) I'm chuffed to have been included in Mohawk's email..I'm sure my JSA academic son will feel privileged (I know I'm crap at spelling) too.

2) DJ's arent being paid as the union wanted to take advantage of start up DJ's who want to learn the ropes and thus work for nothing for the experience. Surely making the DJ's name known on the night or on the promotional posters in advance will help these young DJ's make a name for themselves as well and perhaps convince them to carry on working for nothing at least for a little while.

3) No DJ pay from what I gather, was decided upon as beginners would be given time to learn the ropes, but now the experienced mentor's have left as well. To me this suggests a poor structure backing this decision. Did anyone consider paying one or two experienced DJ's to be a mentor to the newbie's who will work for nothing in order to gain the experience and lessons? Sounds reasonable to me and by paying your tutor's you'll maintain the experience whilst providing St.Andrews students with a chance to break into the DJ scene

4) A bit of a mad off the top of my head idea here but...Someone above says that set up is a problem in terms of time and manpower, and that the current number of ents crew mean that many of the things that people like cant be put up week after week (such as the DJ in the centre, which I personally havent seen but would definitely persuade me to come), I dont mean any offense to the ents crew, and I'm not questioning their way or organisation, but perhaps using the student populations strong want for a better union to their advantage in terms of recruitment might help things? I looked into joining the ents crew back in my 1st year but to be quite honest was pretty much scared off by all the technical details of the lights etc (I was given a taster at the freshers fayre) I really didnt know what I was doing, but if positions such as setter-upper are advertised more widely, giving the benefits of their participation (perhaps let them be allowed into the bop free, as the ents crew are allowed (or were 2/3 years ago)). Recruits may increase that way, allowing a timetable to be set up asking people to give up an afternoon twice a month or something to set up these stages etc. Granted this idea may be a bit far fetched and would need to be researched in terms of public interest, but its an idea none the less, and if taken to Ben (who from the above comments* about the state of the bop amaze me in terms of pure ignorance and lack of respect for student's values) the student association might do well to pull their weight behind the ents crew to make this happen....just an idea as I've said too many times now...

Mr.Comedy said:

I did mention these and other points at the start of the year, when I was the DJ convenor. However, these claims were rubbished by Ben Spiers, who said (and I quote) "The Union has always been full on a Friday, and always will be" and "People don't come for the DJ, they come for cheese". I think that this has been proven extensively wrong this year, as attendance has been steadily dropping.

5) Back home where I live in a small country village, our town hall held a bands night twice a year. For me personally I feel the whole atmosphere in venue 1 changes when theres a live act present, whether it matches everyones taste or not, but perhaps an event like this once a semester would stir up peoples interest in the bop and encourage bands to come to the union more often to get their names heard etc (for some reason I get the distinct feeling this has been done before...)

Bands night back home involved local bands coming to the venue and playing one after another, and a possible addition would be to put these bands in competition with each other by getting the boppers to vote (either proper voting or general loudness when asked)...possible reward could be a solo 'concert' at the union sometime?

6) I can see a suggestions box for music choices as being a bit tricky as you may end up with music that favours those who hang around the union all week compared to those who just turn up once a week for the nights entertainment...this isnt so much an idea as just a general warning that asking for music preference in the union alone might provide a minorities view on the matter...try the library as well maybe? Or even the internet (although the union's website isn't exactly the most widely visited site...)

Well I've run out of points there, thought there was more but I'm sure I'll come back if I remember them. I'm sure some people may find these controversial or 'impossible' but hey from what i see of this thread, its all about discussing possibilities and I hope that some of the points raised will make others think of even better alternatives, certainly the previous threads helped me form the above...

I hope someone on the board, or those running for next year take account of these points, and those who can comment on them please do, including further suggestions, but ultimately I feel a lack of structure and support to decisions made have resulted in the 'gym-hall disco' we have today...
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Postby Bonnie on Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:36 pm

Please do keep in mind that those who are running for the pertinent positions that affect what you are talking about are not allowed to respond until Friday (because that's campaigning).

Will speak to you on Friday then.(Or probably Saturday morning by the time I get in.)
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Postby Mr Comedy on Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:30 am

Here are my thoughts on Union DJing. In my opinion, if you are not good enough to hold down a residency in a bar, you are not good enough to DJ in the Union, at least on a Friday. Many of the DJs in town actually started working for the Union, but left either because the pay was not competitive, or when the pay stopped all together. Now Venue 1 offers the biggest arena to showcase DJ skills, and the balls I do and bar work is largely a product of this.
Because of this, I think that the DJs should be paid either a flat fee of £50 (which is the going rate for a bar DJ, incidentally), or a smaller fee, with bonuses related to attendance, which could rise to over £50 if the venue was filled.

Also, I would make a case for DJs being mentioned in promotions for the Union. All the other bars do, as do all clubs. Why should the Union be exempt? By mentioning a DJ in the promotional material, you can assure quality if it is a name they already know.

I did mention these and other points at the start of the year, when I was the DJ convenor. However, these claims were rubbished by Ben Spiers, who said (and I quote) "The Union has always been full on a Friday, and always will be" and "People don't come for the DJ, they come for cheese". I think that this has been proven extensively wrong this year, as attendance has been steadily dropping.

There is a definite case for having properly trained and paid DJs, rather than whatever random hack is in the building.
If you want a professional Union, you need professional DJs. People have voted with their feet, and would rather go to an event with someone who knows what they are up to.

So how would I do thing if I was DoS? (note: this is not electioneering, as I have no desire to ever be DoS). I would offer decent money to decent DJs, and hopefully they would come back. I would have proper publicity, with properly run bops that open on time, every time.

And on a final point, I am willing to act as DJ Convenor in terms of sourcing music until the Association can find a new one. But I will not work as a DJ for free.

DoS candidates (come Friday) - you must assure me that you will not only act to change this, but address this as one of the main issues regarding the Union.
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Postby niall on Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:17 am

does this make the bop any better?


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Postby Guest on Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:29 pm

One thing i noticed in my time here. When i first came to St Andrews in 99 the bop would be dead until half ten but then fill up to capacity. The next year i think it was about the same but im not sure coz i stopped going around then! But when a certain someone came here i think the type of student coming here also changed .. maybe not all the dramatically but it was kind of a bit odd that since then the union/bop etc has been emptier and emptier. The same goes for the pubs .. a couple of years ago the pubs would be full during the day and at nite but now you can go in and get a seat in most pubs at least 3 or 4 nights out of the week.
Yeh there are problems with the bop etc and reasons why people dont go. But it could be that there are less students nowadays who want to go out to the local pubs etc when they've got enough money to go to edinburgh every weekend.
Just a thought :)


Postby Paranoid on Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:00 am

rubbish! I actually think its true that most students just cant afford it anymore. When I arrived in '01 the bop's were always full on a Friday by 10.30 or thereabouts. Last year I guess it quietened down a little, but this year really has bombed. I went to the Rag Week one and it was good, but since then been quite busy and only got back again last Friday and was pretty shocked at the sparse number of boppers. To blame it on the 'type' of student attending St.A is a bit stereotypical if you ask me, especially when there's been so much uproar over accomodation fees rising...I mean if we're all so well off why is it a worry?!

(On a side note, which will probably contradict everything I said above, a relative of mine attended St.A back in the late 70's early 80's and even back then it was considered the Uni for all those yahs who failed to make it to Oxbridge...so again to blame it on HRH is unfair)
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