Why it's time to end Cram Jam

Editorial: Big budgets and embarrassing attendance don’t mix — Cram Jam doesn’t need to be “reimagined.”

Performers play to limited attendance at the Kwantlen Student Association's 2012 Cram Jam concert. (Max Hirtz/The Runner)

Big budgets and embarrassing attendance don’t mix — Cram Jam doesn’t need to be “reimagined.”

By The Runner

Another semester is well under way, another class of students has settled in to the Kwantlen community, and another dismal failure for the Kwantlen Student Association’s (KSA) Cram Jam event has come and gone. Say goodbye to tens of thousands of students’ dollars vainly spent on an inflated concert that no one ever attends – or worse, knows even takes place – every year.

This year, a selection of indie artists hit the stage and wowed the 30 people who were in attendance. We thank the artists for coming out to play for us, we really do. And we thank the KSA for trying so damn hard to create a place for Kwantlen bonding. Our school is notorious, even among current students, for its horrendous student apathy problem, and it’s commendable that someone cares enough to try and fight the monster.

But the fact is, Kwantlen students don’t give a shit about anything, especially if you put it on a poster and hang it on the sanctioned postering spaces. No one sees it and no one cares to. It’s just another thing to avoid on the way to the parking lot.

Even though students deserve to have free events in the interests of creating community, it costs a lot of student money to hold Cram-Jam-size events.

Every year, a fresh-faced group of elected KSA officials tries their hand at holding this complex event and every year it’s the same. The Cram Jam name has a long history with scandal, whether it’s over-spending, dismal turnout, or a logjam of scheduling and planning issues that never get resolved in time. Stop it.

The KSA ought to focus on holding smaller events that narrower niches of the Kwantlen community might be interested in attending. How can we as students be expected to take part in events as big as Cram Jam when we barely even know the other students in our department?

We need to hold small events successfully before we can even dream of pulling off Cram Jam. Baby steps. A vibrant Kwantlen community is not something to be attained simply by throwing money at it.