Nothing has rallied students together this year as much as the news that Migos would be performing at Dooley’s Week. But when Emory realized it been scammed by a fraudulent third-party agency, the March 28 letter published by Student Programming Council’s (SPC) contained no hint of an apology, and failed to place blame for the oversight on any group or individual.
Following SPC’s letter, frustrated Migos fans jumped to accuse their fellow students on SPC of negligence, but that blame should be redirected toward the administration and paid Emory employees whose responsibility is to prevent mistakes of this scale.
Extreme vetting should have occurred, but it appears that not even a Google search of Global Talent Agency or of Migos’ tour schedule did. Intermediaries between SPC and the fraudulent Global Talent Agency included SPC Adviser and Student Engagement Coordinator Vernon Smith, the Office of the General Counsel and Dave Fuhrman, senior director of Campus Life Auxiliary Services and Administration. None of those three entities tasked with reviewing the booking contract noticed that Migos was double-booked on the day they were scheduled to perform at Emory, nor did they find any red flags in a company not included on Emory Campus Life’s list of pre-approved vendors with no credible references and a history of fraud.
To guarantee that students can be trusted with large amounts of money, the University must have appropriate checks and balances in place. The Office of the General Counsel is one such check. In their core values statement, they promise to “exercise prudent judgment” and “[cultivate] a culture of trust.” Those words mean nothing if they represent a group of employees unable to carry out their intent.
While some of the funds used for the payment came from the Student Activities Fee, reimbursing students individually for the loss would unfortunately be ineffective and counterproductive. Each student would receive a nominal amount, and the funds would have to come from somewhere — most likely from Campus Life or SPC itself, which could affect future events and programs.
This year’s largest and most anticipated student-run University event has been ruined by a scam that could have been avoided with a simple Google search. Preventive measures exist because institutions are run by people who make mistakes — Emory must ensure those measures work.
The above editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s Editorial Board.