Low turnout for AGT comedian raises questions about campus involvement

Leah Jamison

The Campus Activities Board brought Canadian stand-up comedian D.J. Demers to campus to perform, but the turnout was disappointing. Demers appeared on season 11 of America’s Got Talent, has performed on Conan three times, and is a regular at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Despite Demers’ credentials, there was only a turnout of about 20 people Thursday, Feb. 13.

“I thought it was pretty good and he was really funny. I think a bigger crowd would have helped though,” said Daija Coleman, a sophomore education major.

The Campus Activities Board, also known as CAB, is a student organization responsible for student events at Washburn.

“We like to bring campus activities to get people involved, educated, and give a sense of community at Washburn. We chose this artist because we go to a convention every semester called NACA, [the National Association for Campus Activities], where a bunch of artists perform. We thought he would work well with our campus and the vibe that we have here,” said Caylee Lind, student success director of CAB.

The low turnout at the event raises the question: Why didn’t more people come?

“Weather has a huge impact on our attendance. People are more inclined to be out of their rooms when the weather is nice, but when it’s rigidly cold, no one wants to leave their place,” said Erasmo Nunez Baeza, marketing director of CAB.

Although the reason for the lack of students is unknown, it should create a discussion about what can be done to increase community involvement on campus.

“Truly, word of mouth is a huge help to get people to our events. We can post hundreds of flyers and post tons of things online, but when we invite people personally is when people want to come,” said Nunez Baeza.

Despite Demers’ disappointing turnout, he still gave his all for the performance and was even able to interact with the crowd on a more personal level. Demers walked among the tables during some of his performance and asked the attendees questions.

“He was able to interact with the small group very well and create a fun and stress-free environment,” said Alex Baldwin, a sophomore history major.

Visit djdemers.com to learn more about Demers, listen to his podcasts, and watch his videos.

Edited by Adam White, Jada Johnson, Jason Morrison