By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer
All-University Sing has been canceled by the University due to issues regarding the pandemic and time constraints.
A tradition since 1953, Sing has been one of the highly anticipated events of the spring semester for students to get excited about. However, it’s those qualities of Sing that create excitement — such as large groups and a live audience — that would be missed the most in a modified version of the event. Along with being pushed back a week due to the winter storm, Student Activities recognizes the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the difficult position some organizations are in.
Matt Burchett, director of Student Activities, notified Sing chairs and organization leadership in an email regarding their decision and appreciation for their hard work Tuesday.
“We have made the difficult decision to cancel All-University Sing for the Spring 2021 semester. Student Activities will continue the dialogue with student leadership to develop next steps for Pigskin Revue 2021 and initiate preparations for All-University Sing 2022,” Burchett said in the email.
As the plan for a modified version of Sing was affirmed by the President’s Council, Burchett explained that after looking into more logistics, there were specific aspects Student Activities wasn’t comfortable fully committing to at the time.
One of the largest limitations was a 65-person cap for performance groups, which typically range around 100 people, to ensure most seniors have the opportunity for a last show.
Although the decision to forego the event this semester disappoints many students, Burchett said the planning process for Sing 2022 will quickly start up and admires the student’s creativity and diligence with the circumstances.
“One of the more fortunate outcomes of this is that we typically spend a full year planning for Sing. Now, student organizations will likely have a lot of that work done for them if they choose to do that act that was already prepared for this year [next year],” Burchett said. “My hope is that they hang on to the creativity that was brought to this preparation and performance and will have an act ready to go for the 2022 season.”
Glenmoore, Pa. senior Maddie Kinneary, president of Sing Alliance, said prior to the announcement, Sing Alliance had already decided to opt-out of this year’s season. Kinneary said it took a long time for them to cover all their bases and decide what was best for their organization. Being upset with how COVID-19 has disrupted many events, Kinneary said when she saw the email, it made their decision final.
“It was definitely disheartening and sad that it isn’t happening as we would want it to, but I also felt like it kind of confirmed our decision in choosing to opt-out. Other people had felt the same way we had felt about being a little nervous with COVID-19; being a little withdrawn from the situation because it wasn’t the same fire that’s usually behind Sing,” Kinneary said.
When breaking the news to student organizations, Burchett first said he deeply appreciated the commitment those student leaders had to plan Sing this semester.
“That’s really been one of the hallmarks of this very distinctive year is that the resiliency of our students; their commitment to our traditions; their willingness to do unique and different things; that effort to try and provide the type of Baylor experience that we all have grown to love and cherish,” Burchett said.