Let’s Not Stone Tommy Bruce to Death

Former ASUA President, Tommy Bruce probably isn’t showing his face in public right now. After putting the university at nearly $1 million in debt from the Last Smash Platinum Bash Concert, Bruce has been the subject of much criticism from online Daily Wildcat commentators and students across campus.

He definitely screwed up, big time, and I’m not excusing his poor decision. But I’m also not going to call him a “drunkard fraternity and sorority type,” as one commentator put it. It was unfair of another commentator to state, “Tommy Bruce, you’re an idiot. ASUA, you ALL are idiots…I didn’t bother pursuing tickets because I overheard some sorostitutes in the Bookstore slutbuxx talking about it being sold out.” Seriously, guys, let’s not pull the “he’s a spoiled brat and doesn’t know how to run a university” card. How can we really know anything about his socio-economic status? Last I checked, Bruce is not in a fraternity.

The concert resulted in a devastating loss for the university, and it’s unfortunate that Bruce had to end his presidency so poorly. He didn’t set out to lose the UA so much money, and when commentators say that Bruce’s future employers will never know about his bad move, these commentators are lying to themselves. One brief Google or University of Arizona search, and anyone can find news reports about the Last Smash Platinum Bash disaster.

There’s no question in my mind that this loss will overshadow all the positive changes Bruce has brought to the UA. Alongide GPSC and ASA, Bruce helped raise money for UA students to visit the Phoenix Capitol in January to protest the projected 40% education budget cuts. He advocated for lower textbook prices and pulled many all-nighters in the ASUA office.

I disagree with Bruce’s choice to put on such an extravagant concert, and I’m angry that the UA will suffer for many years to come as a result, but I don’t think it’s constructive for UA students to continuously annihilate Bruce with their words. He made a huge mistake, and there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ll suffer the consequences, and hopefully, new ASUA President Chris Nagata can help get the UA out of such debt. But when commentators say that Bruce has cut and run and that he won’t have to worry about the UA while he’s working in New York, they’re again misguided. I’m sure he’ll feel guilty about what happened, and his presence won’t be entirely welcome back on the UA campus. He’ll feel the effects of this choice from across the country.

You can be mad, but remember that anger will get you nowhere at this point. We just have to endure the consequences of another person’s bad decision, and such is life.


4 thoughts on “Let’s Not Stone Tommy Bruce to Death

  1. I was one of those that joined the conversation on the Daily Wildcat website. I agree that it’s not fair to completely bash him and pretend he hasn’t worked hard to serve the student body. He’s done a lot. At the same time, what the Desert Lamp said about him is still very true: his management style played a huge role in this whole mess. It was his pet project, and if he hadn’t been so hung up on keeping the whole thing a secret, students could have prepared for it, saved money, perhaps even made suggestions about what acts they’d like to see take the stage. Instead, he kept the entire thing hush-hush and then dropped it on students during a time of recession. And don’t get me started on the timing of the concert: I’ve said it from the get-go and I’ll say it again: you don’t plan huge events to take place on college campuses a week before finals if you want anybody to show up. Bruce and Jessica Anderson are both cum laude marketing majors that have won awards, and they don’t understand these basics? I guess they got to show off how good they are at PR blitzes.

    I’m angrier at the people that have been inducted into Bruce’s cult of personality, choose to give him a pass on this mistake, and pretend that we, the student body, won’t be on the hook for the money ASUA spent. Sure, we won’t have to pay a straight fee for it, but the Bookstore is reducing ASUA’s allowance by over $100,000 for five years, meaning we’re definitely going to see either a spike in textbook prices or a drop in club and event funding. The latter is admittedly more likely, but a combination of both is my prediction.

    I’m also bitter that these two will be leaving here to New York and Washington, making more money than God, while we students bear the burden for their mistake with either even pricier books or less club funding. I realize that it’s illogical to feel that way, since these two have clearly paid their dues many times over to get to where they are now, but it doesn’t make me feel any less sour about it.

    1. Well said, Jimi. They made a poor decision to bring the bands here during such a stressful academic week.

      I suspect we’ll see a spike in textbook prices as well as a drop in club funding.

      You don’t know that they’ll “be making more money than God.” It’s their first jobs out of college. Even the highly successful don’t see a lot of money until they’re well established.

      You bring up some great points, and I do agree with the Desert Lamp assessment, but ultimately, there’s no reason to say such vitriolic things about Bruce. I would, however, like him to apologize to the public.

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