Manifest cutbacks a blessing in disguise

By Editorial Board

After the initial disappointment of cutting the headlining band from Manifest, the benefits to students have become clear.

A headliner would certainly be fun for students and draw more people to Manifest, but when the headlining band is replaced with extended stage time for 15 Columbia bands, the purpose of Manifest is achieved-a chance for students to have an event showcasing their work.

The reasoning for cutting the headlining band was not due to lack of college funds, but because there was not the same amount of sponsorship this year as years past. If the administration for Manifest were to try and bring in a major act regardless, they would have to dig deep into Manifest’s budget pockets and cut other student-oriented programs.

That would be unacceptable. But with more student exposure in store, it’s a blessing in disguise. Not only does it save money by not having to pay the band, but it saves on security costs, among other expenses.

Along with extending the stage time on Wabash Avenue and supporting student musicians, the extra money has opened the door for an Industry Night doubling last year’s size.

Last year was the first year for Industry Night. The innovative event is something possibly unique to Columbia. The administration will hopefully examine what worked and what didn’t to make necessary improvements. Since Columbia is planning to double the number of professionals attending, the organizers for the event should also focus on doubling efficiency.

A successful practice was encouraging seniors with portfolios to display their work in front of professionals, which then sparked conversations. More plans like this for other departments would help engage students and professionals.

Industry Night needs to be less of a mix-and-mingle party of students and professionals, and more focused on actively engaging students and professionals. Although the night itself may not be completely focused on applying for jobs, it should be focused on making connections with people in the field that will help students get ahead.

Beyond preparing for the future, Manifest is about creating opportunities for students to showcase their work. With the addition of the Student Advisory Board to advise and approve Manifest’s budget, the event should be successful. If this year’s event turns out to bring even more exposure of Columbia students than last year, there might be no need to bring back the headlining band next year, should sponsorship be available.