By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – After losing its permit to host rapper Sean Kingston in Neahwa Park last April, SUNY Oneonta’s Student Association has decided to move the often-controversial OH Fest back onto campus next spring.
“The SA wants to ensure that we put the students’ activity money to good use for the spring concert. We don’t want to take the risk of having a concert planned to have it fall through as it happened last spring,” said SA President Tim Nolan. “We are open to continuing the tradition. However, we need to do what’s best for the students.”
After 2010 rape allegations surfaced against Kingston, an ad hoc “Know Violence Committee” of students announced they would protest at the concert. When SUNY officials could assure City Hall the event would be peaceful, Mayor Gary Herzig pulled the permit, and the SA forfeited its $45,000 fee.
There are other changes: The Student Association has decided it will not host a street carnival students organize in Oneonta’s downtown on the day of the concert, an OH Fest staple for years. And it has decided not to collaborate with Hartwick College students, but to go it alone.
Beyond the particulars of the Kingston situation, the OH Fest concert periodic provoked community complaints of drunk student reveler urinating wherever they wished.
The concert, renamed O-Fest XV – the “h”, for Hartwick, has been removed — is scheduled for April 18, 2020, in SUNY Oneonta’s Alumni Field House.
“We agree that we are going our separate ways for 2020 and will re-evaluate the 2021 event next fall,” said SA Adviser and SUNY Oneonta Director of Campus Activities & Leadership Bill Harcleroad.