Concerts For a Cause

By Lauren Foote

Student Activities is on a mission to accomplish two important tasks — bring more successful and engrossing entertainment to campus while also helping Youngstown State University clubs and organizations raise awareness and funds for their endeavors — which is why Student Activities has developed the Concerts for a Cause series.

There will be four events in which Student Activities will partner with a club on campus, and together they will bring a band or musical artist to put on a concert. The funds from the concert will aid the club that is sponsoring the act.

The idea for Concerts for a Cause came to Erin Driscoll and Carolyn Jesko at a Johnny Schwinn concert, during which he represented Food for the Hungry and their effort to aid in the fight against global childhood poverty. This fusion of entertainment and fundraising inspired the Student Activities employees to start their own Concerts for a Cause.

“They wanted to bring the perfect marriage with clubs and organizations around campus, to bring together YSU community and bring awareness to other organizations on campus. It is also a creative outlet to expose to the YSU community,” Jesko said.

Student Activities has only recently begun implementing the project, determining which student clubs and organizations fit best with every new artist they bring in and gauging what resonates most with YSU stuents.

Taylor Phillips, a YSU student, is working to create an application and survey for clubs and organizations to fill out. This application will ask clubs to describe their connection to the artist, making it easier for the Student Activities office to pick an appropriate partner for the artist or band that is coming to campus. It also gives clubs and organizations a fighting chance to be the next concert’s focus.

Student Activities has already hosted two concerts in the Concerts for a Cause series, the first of which featured the Moxies and brought attention to the YSUscape club early in January. The second was held last Thursday in the International Student Lounge. Seattle singer and songwriter OK Sweetheart came to YSU for a concert, and the Student Activities office, along with the Catholic Student Organization, brought a grand piano to the lounge and created a coffee shop feel for the concert. Kilcawley Center was decorated with a Valentine’s  Day theme — hearts surrounded the room and there were chocolate fountains, coffee, sweets and a photo frame for couples that wished to have their picture taken.

Student Activities hopes that these concerts will become more popular and held more frequently, sparking a new tradition in the YSU community.