Give the students their festivities back

Give the students their festivities back

The spring festivities held during the month of May by universities and organized by student councils through the sponsorship of professional firms constitute a pleasant intervarsity rivalry. 

Doğuş Doğukan Celasun, the owner of Lila Events, which was among the few companies that organized these festivities, said interference with spring festivities started in 2013. “As a matter of fact, the fuse was lit in 2012 when alcoholic drink sales were banned inside universities. Drinks were an important source of income; that was gone. Following this, suggestions started coming from the Higher Education Board [YÖK] to not hold festivities, festivals and concerts,” he said. 

These festivities meant laughing aloud and “girls and boys having fun together.” And, as you know, these are not exactly things the administration likes.  

When I asked Celasun whether other activities had replaced these festivities, he replied, “Some schools did not replace them. Some other schools are holding commemorations of Mehmet Akif Ersoy; others are organizing holy birth week activities. The spring festivities became unable to be organized. Universities just stopped holding festivities.”

Rectors, he said, would use “security” as a justification. While life goes on in any other field, it is only the music sector that has been stopped.

As a matter of fact, we are talking about a serious economic outlet here. Many people are employed in this business. It was a process which happened once a year, in May. The cancellation of spring festivities in universities means business has stopped for a wide group starting from portable toilet providers, voice technicians, generator operators, hoteliers, transporters, equipment leasing companies and drivers.  

Musicians are also not happy, as they had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with students during these festivals. “For instance, many of these singers and bands would not hold a concert in [the southeastern province of] Adıyaman but they were able to perform at Adıyaman University,” Celasun said, adding there were bankruptcies and requests for bankruptcy suspensions from voice, light and stage companies and event agencies.  

“Musicians and their technical teams are troubled. This also obstructs the development of musicians. A sector that is not fed stops producing,” he said. 

The student dimension is another sad factor. In Anatolian towns, the venues where students can socialize are very restricted; spring festivities were among the few where they could. With the organization of festivities, students were both receiving work and at the same time life experience. They had an opportunity to chill out. A student unable to pay for a concert ticket had the opportunity to watch a free concert at their school. 

Students have also been reacting to the cancellation of festivities. 

Universities are not only educational centers but also places to gain experience. With the removal of spring festivities, universities are losing their social center features. 

While people’s interest for live music and ticket sales are climbing in the world, the trend here is heading in the opposite direction. A more “indoors” order is encouraged, for people to stay at home more, watch more television and have more trash imposed on them. 

Yes, indeed, this country is full of adults who do not know how to enjoy life and who have been restricted from all sides. Well, is the intention to make the youth resemble them? 

Don’t do it. Give the students their festivities back.