The Trumpet



|By Quinell Ming, Hilltop Trumpet Journalist

The highly anticipated annual talent concert “Unleash” will not be held this year as plans are being developed to substitute the event for the Mr. and Ms. USM Talent and Pageant Show (MMUTPS).

The United Student Movement’s Vice President of Student Services and Social Affairs, Wrenae Hudson, told the Trumpet that there will not be a 2020 version of the annual Unleash concert.

He said that this decision to omit the concert from this year’s list of activities was made after carefully assessing the event’s current structure, its level of financial success and its various challenges. The VP said, “Having done a post mortem of Unleash for a few years now, you realise that there are two major challenges with ‘’Unleash’’, [one] the program structure as it is right now does not necessarily capture the interest of the student population in terms of the wholesome entertainment and value that the event is supposed to provide.”

He added that the purpose of Unleash is to unlock the talents of Northern Caribbean University (NCU) students but this is difficult because students aren’t very willing to participate in the event that has also taken on a monotonous tone. Hudson said, “Unleash was geared towards unlocking the talents that exists here on the campus, but the challenge is, sometimes it’s hard to find these talents because our students [they] don’t really come forward, and then the program over the years have become like a monotone – we do the same thing over and over”.

The event’s financial shortcomings also contributed to the decision to substitute it. Hudson said that the USM hasn’t been able to acquire much revenue from the event and because of this, it is difficult to fulfil the event’s main purpose which is to provide scholarships. He said, ““We have not been able to boost much revenue from the event and the proceeds from all of these major USM events goes towards scholarships at the end of the semester and the end of the school year”

The VP went on to say that during the movement’s careful assessment of the event and a search for a solution to the issues they developed MMUTPS. This new initiative comes as a result of merging Unleash with the Student Ambassador Program which was last staged in 2016. This event will provide a platform for future student leaders to develop their leadership skills and unlock their talents through pageantry, creative dance, works and musical performances.

Hudson says, the Mr. and Ms. USM Talent and Pageant Show will remind students of their ability to be outstanding students. “More than A USM election, you can be an ambassador, you can be a student leader, you can be one who inspires and whilst you might not be interested in sitting in the USM, this gives you a little bit more credence, it gives you room flexibility to work with”, Hudson said.

The proposed date for the event is April 18, 2020 and it is expected to be the final USM event of the year.

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