A few months ago, the Jimmy Cliff song we would have dedicated to the Undergraduate Council and their efforts to get a popular singer for a Harvard concert would have been "Sitting In Limbo." Happily, we can now ask Cliff to play an even better song--"You Can Get It If You Really Want."
After all, Cliff is a true superstar, a king of reggae on the level of Bob Marley. Cliff is considered one of the original innovators of the modern-day reggae style. Reggae is so popular with college students that the fact the council was able to book someone of Cliff's stature came as a wonderful surprise.
An even better surprise is that the Council played this one smart for a change. Three times last year the Council attempted to bring performers to campus, and three times it failed. The harder it tried, the harder it failed. Council organizers handled this professionally and made sure they had confirmed a date and obtained the administration's approval before they made the announcement. Had the organizers announced their plans before anything was approved and had the plans come to nothing, the Council would have completely solidified the widespread perception that it is hopelessly disorganized and ineffective.
Now, the Council can at least point to having finalized plans for what could be a tremendous concert. The Jimmy Cliff show has all the makings of an event to be remembered for years, the likes of which have not been seen at this school since Bob Marley played in Harvard Stadium back in July, 1979.
BUT let's not get excited just yet. The Council can only begin to regain our trust by showing that it actually can pull off a large-scale event. After all, we have had news of plans before--even of confirmed concert dates--only to have these hopes snatched away at the last moment. The Council voted against having Chuck Berry play here last year after the Council's representative had bargained and supposedly finalized an agreement with his promoters. Even though Berry had agreed to play, Harvard was left without a concert.
If the concert happens, the Council will have succeeded in proving that it can serve a useful social function. The Council has many rivers to cross before it earns our respect as an effective student government, but Jimmy Cliff's music could go a long way in doing just that.
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