PULSE is an impressive, respectable and stand-up organization.
In addition to breaking artistic stereotypes and providing St. Thomas with an outlet for fine arts after the theater department dissolved, PULSE was just named the Midwest region’s organization of the year.
PULSE fans, however, should take lessons from the organization in the respect column.
After the Nov. 20 “Freeze” performance, I could have easily spent the rest of my evening at Regions Hospital instead of hanging out with my extended family at Axel’s Bonfire.
For while I was inspired again by the fact that hundreds of fans lined up hours in advance for a PULSE performance, I was appalled by the mosh pit that broke out once BEC auditorium’s doors were finally opened.
But this isn’t about me.
It’s about my tiny, 77-year-old grandmother who suddenly vanished from right in front of me as the pushing broke out. I was doing my best not to envision her ending up beneath the stampeding feet of overzealous performing arts fans.
“You know, it got real nasty there for a bit,” said my grandmother Marlys after we found seats in the auditorium.
I understand the crowd mentality of college students. A group mindset which basically boils down to “I’ma get mine. Screw you.”
I’ve been to enough Lil’ Wayne concerts to know that.
But unlike Wayne concerts, PULSE’s crowd consisted mostly of parents, grandparents and relatives – all present to show support for their beloved PULSE performers.
Instead of the me-first attitude of seeing how many people can possibly be squeezed through a doorframe at once, I wish students had taken a second glance at who’s standing next to them before throwing elbows that would make Shaquille O’Neal wince.
If they did take just a moment to check their surroundings, they’d see my grandmother who drove up from Rochester to cheer on my brother Tyler’s performance.
They’d see my mother who traveled from Northfield for yet another beloved PULSE production.
They’d see senior Kassie Malchow’s mother who made the hike up I-35 from Owatonna to see her daughter take the stage.
Before pushing and shoving ensued, if students would have looked around first, they would have seen the numerous other non-college aged people who were not expecting a dangerous free-for-all sprint into the auditorium – people who were patiently waiting their turn in line for more than an hour.
I’m anxiously awaiting the next PULSE performance just as much as the next fan but let’s keep the physicality in O’Shaughnessy Stadium and the impromptu mosh pit out of the BEC foyer.
Shane Kitzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org