SCOPE: behind the scenes 


Aimee Rothman & Sarah Donovan, Contributing Writers

With mostly sunny conditions on Sunday, there was no other place to be on campus besides the Student Committee on Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) and Campus Activities Board’s (CAB) outdoor event, held in Parking Lot A at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), featuring popular artists Dominic Fike and Chelsea Cutler and carnival food and games. In addition to being the first event of this size held outdoors by SCOPE since the pandemic began, it was also taking a new approach to ensure a positive experience for both students and the artists. 

After over a year of planning and attention to detail, as well as following pandemic guidelines allowing for outdoor activities, SCOPE was proud to host an outdoor event, unlike those they have hosted before. SCOPE partnered with Campus Activities Board (CAB) to create “the ultimate experience” for students, according to Melissa Beecher, Memorial Union Building (MUB) and student activities director at UNH.  

The event was thoughtfully coordinated during a year-long process to cultivate a “fun and exciting experience,” while maintaining students’ safety and well-being, Beecher said. Ultimately, SCOPE and CAB wanted to utilize A-Lot’s outdoor space to host a concert, with carnival games, food vendors and DJs to create a festival-like event.  

SCOPE has distributed the planning process throughout many groups, each extending their own expertise. Hospitality Director Mia Rosen said, “it’s really a team effort” and that everyone is working together to ensure their work “extends past the artists to the students as well.”  

Security was a major factor in planning the event, considering SCOPE is anticipating a crowd of up to 4,000. UNH Police Department and Fire Department have offered their assistance in maintaining safety at the event. Executive Officer of the UNH Police Department Captain Steven Lee stated, “We continue to work hand-in-hand with SCOPE and our community public safety partners to ensure a safe and fun event.”  

SCOPE’s agent, James Anderson, handled hiring additional security enforcement and tools such as gates, and fencing.   

Lee continued, “We will have our standard public safety provisions in place, and will be working with the Durham Fire Department and McGregor Memorial Ambulance Corps to ensure we can quickly and safely address any needs of the attendees.” 

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic factored into the planning of the event. New Hampshire guidelines no longer require masks in both indoor and outdoor spaces, and larger events are no longer being restricted in outdoor spaces. This opened the opportunities that SCOPE had when selecting a venue. According to SCOPE Executive Director John Rooney, COVID-19 has played a big part in planning. “Safety was the utmost concern,” said Rooney.  

As this is the largest SCOPE event since the pandemic began, Rooney was the go-between for his SCOPE team and the university to come to a conclusion on the best way to hold an event on this scale. The biggest challenge Rooney expressed has been explaining the event to friends, peers, and the community. It’s not a typical SCOPE show, Rooney said, and he really wants to have this show be geared towards what the students want.  

Each of the five departments within SCOPE have been planning and working together over the past year to organize its biggest event since the pandemic. Julia Gomes, publicity director said that she has not seen a concert like the one SCOPE hosted Sunday since her sophomore year. Gomes, now a second-semester senior, worked to create and oversee all of the content SCOPE puts out on their Instagram and approves the image that SCOPE wants to publicize. Gomes said that this concert was more challenging to advertise than previous SCOPE concerts due to its differences. She said that this year more than ever, SCOPE has wanted to create a platform that collaborates with other student organizations. SCOPE ran a raffle with WUNH, auctioning off the chance for a student to win two concert tickets. Gomes said it is bittersweet organizing this show right before graduation; but in a way, it’s a great goodbye and a huge accomplishment to see SCOPE put on this scale of an event as her last project.  

Behind the scenes of putting this large-scale production together, SAFC Chairperson Matthew Clarke gave insight into how the committee funds student-run organizations on campus. SAFC’s job is to provide aid to campus clubs to ensure as many possible projects are funded. SCOPE has received funding from SAFC to use towards the cost of the event, from the cost of production, to safety, to fencing and gating. According to Clarke, “All of our money is for students and their enjoyment.”  

From all of the positive feedback from members of SCOPE and others in the UNH community, the passion behind this concert is to bring the best possible experience to the UNH students.  

In the end, the goal of this year-long process of planning and hard work was “to do this for the students. At the end of the day, we just want to see the students happy,” said SCOPE Production Director Madison Cooper.