Spring comedian controversy

Allegations against Bill Cosby cause concerns for students

Anne Nickoloff, Arts & Entertainment Editor

After opening the 2015 Spring Comedian vote to Case Western Reserve University students and community, CWRU’s University Program Board faced not-so-unexpected feedback regarding one of the comedian choices.

Comedian Bill Cosby has recently returned to the spotlight for various allegations of sexual assault, causing many students to oppose his place in the running for the spring event.

“If Bill Cosby were to come out on top of the vote, we wouldn’t, as a board, automatically bring him in,” said Kya Sherman, the director of public relationships for UPB.

According to Sherman, many students emailed UPB or commented on social media to express their opinion about avoiding Cosby as a choice for the comedian. This prompted UPB to make a post to Facebook stating that all received comments would be taken into consideration.

The news about Cosby arose shortly before UPB released the vote for the spring comedian event, and though UPB discussed the option of removing Cosby from the list, they ultimately decided to release the unaltered options. According to Sherman, UPB put the vote in the hands of CWRU students.

“We think that the votes accurately reflect what the student body felt about it,” said Sherman.

However, she still wanted to ensure that, while UPB has not announced the voting results yet, they will pay close attention to student concerns.

Changes have already ensued from last year’s comedian lists, based off of student feedback. Last year’s list, which included mainly white male comedians, brought forth many comments from students involving a lack of diversity. This year, the list included comedians with a variety of backgrounds, including Wanda Sykes and Gabriel Iglesias.

“We want students’ feedback,” Sherman said. “We will take that into consideration; we don’t ignore those comments.”

UPB is currently in the process of contacting prospective comedians for the show, basing their options off of collected votes.