The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 67, No. 27, Ed. 1, Friday, April 18, 1980 Page: 4 of 23
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Out-going president reflects on his administration
Students' Association president Ron
Holifield has begun to slip out of the limelight
with the election of John Tyson as next year's
president but his administration probably
will be remembered as one of controversy and
The controversy began even before
Holifield's election. Holifield had not been a
member of the SA for two consecutive years
before his campaign for president as required
by the constitution. But the Student Senate
made a special interpretation that allowed
Holifield to run.
The concerts began with Michael Murphey
in the fall and continued through last week
hyBMkL ? vk N
fef.'gI tjwaif jtr- v .$
when the SA brought Honnie Milsap to Moody
Coliseum in the most expensive concert it has
The following 'is a portion of an interview
with Hojlifield conducted by Optimist Senate
reporter Doug Mend'enhall in which the out-
going SA president discusses his ad-
ministration. . r l
Optimist: What have been" the' most
significant accomplishments of your ad-
ministration? j-f - v-
Holifield: "There are two really significant
accomplishments . in different areas. One
from aenr'jsiandpoiritAaHJange of at-
titude within" the student 'body toward-the
student government. Coming into office there
was an attitude of disdain ' toward student
government that it was pretty much self-
serving and that the people involved in it were
in it for what it was going to do for them and
not for the student body. I think that has been
the greatest overall achievement to change
that attitude in the student body.
"That attitude change has come about
because of some specific instances in par-
ticular our willingness to confront the
problems in Mabee Dormitory. They're things
that have been going on for a couple of years
but previous administrations had been un-
willing to confront the problems. By our
willingness to go into the dormitories to walk
the floors and to try and seek out what the
problems were and then confront the ad-
ministration with them and look for some
viable solutions that gave us a reputation with
some of the students on campus as willing to
work in their interests.
"It would have been far easier to just ignore
that and do the things that a lot of people hear
about and accept mediocrity as the standard
"The second thing that I would judge to be
our significant accomplishment would be the
Chris Christian concert. It was the first
Christian music concert we've had here. I feel
like it opened some doors and laid some
groundwork for future concerts of this sort.( I
take a great deal of pride in the fact that we
have reached the point that we can accept
Christian entertainment as a legitimate form
Optimist: There have been more SA-
sponsored concerts this year than ever before.
Do you sense a change in the administration's
philosophy toward concerts?
Holifield: "Not really. Rather I think the
difference has come about because we haye
proven ourselves as far as the type of thing
"Coming into off ice there was
1 an attitude of disdain toward
I think that has been
the greatest overall
achievement to change
that attitude in
the student body."
Ron Holifield .
we're bringing in and we've proven they can
be successful. The pattern in the past has been
to lose money on everything that's done and to
try to minimize losses. By changing that at-
titude and by a number of successes right at
the start I think we proved ourselves to the
administration so that they were more willing
to step out on a limb with us basically.
"The pattern in the past has been to have
one big entertainment event a year. This year - concluded in- next
we've had1 Kreskin Michael Murphey Chris
Christian The Shoppe and Ronnie Milsap and
I consider all of those major entertainment
events kdon't think the administration has
changed their attitude toward concerts I
think they've changed their attitude toward
Optimist: Now that it's an issue of the past
what is your reaction to the cancellation of the
B. J. Thornas concert?
Holifield: "It saddened me to have the
administration turn down the concert. At the
time and presently I believe thatJ jra- j
mistake fo turn down that concert Howevje'
the people who so vocally expressed (heme
selves in opposition to the administration did
so without a true understanding ' of the
problems that were involved.
"I can appreciate what the administration
was looking at. B. J. Thomas in 1970 had
problems at McMurry in going on. The ad-
ministration has to be concerned about
anything of that sort. I don't think that they
were intimately aware of the changes that had
taken place in B. J. Thomas' life. But they had
personal experience to base their decision on.
"The criticisms at that time that were
directed at myselfand the Students'
Association were premature because at the
time the discussions and talks were con-
tinuing. The strength with which editorials
and such came out condemning the ad-
ministration's decision tended to close the
door on the discussion and make sure that
there was no possibility of changing the
"I think that as a result of the talks that
followed there is a very real opportunity that
if B. J. Thomas is ever presented in the future
he would be accepted to perform on campus.
"I did deal with that among other things in
my report to President Stevens at the end of
the fall semester."
Optimist: With so many activities this year
how does the financial status of the SA com-
pare with past years. 4
Holifield: "The tendency has been to lose
money on concerts and be just at the break-
even point on movies. Part of that was the type
of movies they brought in; generally they
were the older movies. They were minimizing
their losses rather than trying to do it as
professionally as they could.
"We came into it with the attitude that if we
provided the type of activities that were top
quality they'd pay for themselves because
people would turn out for them. One. of the
keys to some of .the successes financially
we've had has been the fact that we've poured
the money into advertising. When we did
Kreskin we hired a company to come in and do
it professionally. In the past there had never
been that willingness to lay the money on the
line and to risk it and in every one of the in-
stances it paid off.
"Of course in everything we do my goal is
to makel. If we come out $1 in the black
we've provided ' the activity at the least
possible price to the students while covering
"Right now it's hard to know exactly how
much because so many bills don't come in
until the last minute but we're definitely
going to have several thousand dollars left in
surplus this year. The reason is that just about
everything we've done has paid for itself."
(Editor's Note: This interview will be
week's Optimist with
Holifield discussing his relationship with
Senate the media the Spring Break Cam-
paign issue and .goals that he didn't ac-
complish during his term.)
f f.l- TJ' X
... iw ore r.iyi. pjjtTewuri'i
problem H ih frfTV.. .. fs
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Newspaper.
The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 67, No. 27, Ed. 1, Friday, April 18, 1980, newspaper, April 18, 1980; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91996/m1/4/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.