SEE what they Saw: A History of Student Entertainment Events

By Savannah Tanbusch

Image from SEE's Facebook page.
Image from SEE’s Facebook page.

 Student Entertainment Events has been the powerhouse of University of Maryland events for decades, hosting artists like Elvis Presley, The Grateful Dead and Queen.

 “It’s students programming for students,” said Donna Lim, the former program coordinator of SEE, said the organization was almost entirely student run when she oversaw it in the ‘90s.

 While the organization has remained very similar over the years, there has been a few major evolutions. SEE now has two graduate advisors who support the needs of the group and make sure abide by rules.

 Another major difference Lim noted was, at the time, SEE was known as Student Entertainment Enterprises.

According to Lim, the last time Bob Dylan played at Maryland he performed a duet with Joni Mitchell in Cole Field House in 1998. The set list featured songs like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Tangled Up In Blue.”

UMD historian and archivist Jason Speck admits his knowledge on the history of SEE and Art Attack is not incredible, but University Archives does offer resources and materials that show SEE’s involvement with the school.

Speck was excited to see Jim Gaffigan on Oct. 24, as it was his first time attending  a SEE event.

“I have always wanted to attend a SEE event, but with two young kids at home, my time is not often my own,” said Speck. “SEE has had some amazing visitors over the year, and it’s just now becoming something I can take advantage of.”

Last year SEE faced complaints from a majority of the student population after MGMT Art Attack. MGMT failed to play “Kids,” causing an outcry from the student body, criticizing SEE’s choice in artist.

A student, choosing to remain anonymous due to connections with the certain D.C. clubs, felt wronged by SEE’s failure to bring in a more inclusive genre of music and more entertainment overall.

“Why is it that during 2013, the Patriot Center at GMU has had Mumford & Sons, Sigur Ros, Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Passion Pit but Maryland as an entire campus has only had MGMT and Jukebox the Ghost?”

Senior journalism student Sung-Min Kim disagreed.

“I think they’re trying the best they can,” Kim said. “I know they don’t have the best rep, but it’s a huge school.”

“It’s hard picking genres of music because you can’t please everyone whether it’s music or comedy,” said Lim. “But I think that especially music-wise, it’s an uphill battle of sorts.”

Lim said that some choices are due to the competition SEE faces with the surrounding areas, like DC and Baltimore, which are more appealing choices for bands to go to.

Lealin Queen, general manager of this university’s student-run radio station, WMUC, said the choice and frequency of musicians playing at Maryland might become more expansive in the near future.

“Right now we’re in the works to become collaborators with SEE,” said Queen. “In the future, we hope to put on more frequent concerts with more local artists.”


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