The Favrot Student Union Board needs a wake-up call and a 101 tutorial immediately on how to efficiently run an event professionally dealing with high-profile talents. A tutorial on how to be ethical would also be great.
To the Mass Communication Department, FSUB has a reputation of being “difficult” in allowing students in The Gramblinite, the TV Center and KGRM to conduct any type of interviews in a professional setting during the concerts and/or comedy shows.
It has also been strongly noted by members of each media outlet that “selfies” and group pictures are more important than allowing students to gain professional experience. To my knowledge their behavior has hindered students who are trying to do their job and do what they aspire to do after college.
Last week, Casey Byrd denied Kendrell Turner of The Gramblinite an interview with YG. Even though The Gramblinite informed Byrd that Turner would need a media pass and would be conducting the interview, she told him he couldn’t do an interview and wouldn’t tell him why.
“The door got shut in my face three times before I went backstage,” said Turner. “Then when I went back there, Casey Byrd acted like she didn’t even know who I was.”
This bothered me because I introduced Turner to Byrd hours before the concert. Although Turner was informed that there would not be any interviews from YG, the TV Center and two non-students were given exclusive interview access. What bothered me more was when I was told how rude Byrd was to a person who came with one of the artists.
“Even one of YG’s crew members got on her (Byrd) because of her attitude and told her she is being a little aggressive,” said Turner.
Travis Donald, who is the student director at the TV Center, has also experienced inappropriate behavior from FSUB and Byrd.
“We despise the way they treat us at the door and all they care about are pictures,” said Donald, who also is a part of the Duck Dynasty media team and has traveled to France for the Cannes Film Festival.
“You want a picture for Instgram, and I’m trying to get an interview for my business reel.”
Like Donald, Turner and other students in the Mass Communication Department, I have experienced FSUB’s unprofessionalism as well. I still remember the day when I had to call my supervisor to tell him that FSUB wouldn’t let me backstage to do an interview even though I was on the approved media list, and I had my student ID and media pass present.
Also, last semester, I had to apologize to Bruce Bruce’s manager after an FSUB member made a scene and called his client “bougie” in front of him. The TV Center had to do the same thing.
“I had to apologize three times to different talents,” said Donald.
During this year’s Comedy Show, he almost lost an opportunity with the comedian when FSUB failed to notify the TV Center that Red Grant was waiting for his interview.
“The comedian had been waiting backstage for five, six minutes for us and we weren’t even notified,” said Donald. “If it wasn’t for Ms. (Erin) Walker, we would have never gotten the interview.”
Donald then added that in the past, after giving FSUB a list of students who need media passes, “Casey Byrd will cut people’s names off the list” without telling the TV Center prior to the event. Although Donald told me that he feels FSUB needs to be removed from running the Comedy Show/Concert, he did say there are some, like Walker, who do their job professionally.
All in all, in the real world, after talents perform, there is about a 15-minute window before they leave. During that time period, a scheduled interview takes place immediately afterwards, not group pictures or selfies.
FSUB, please don’t deny students opportunities to further their professional training.
Diana Sepulveda is a senior mass communication major from Houston.