STOCKTON -- A group of University of the Pacific students showed the power of MySpace and Facebook and the strength of numbers when they successfully lobbied a rap star to perform at their campus Friday.
Several hundred students visited Talib Kweli's MySpace and Facebook pages, asking the hip-hop artist to stop by the Stockton campus.
Social networking Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook have become almost mandatory for the "millennial generation," those who have grown up during the technological revolution.
The sites are easier and more convenient for the millennials to use than e-mail, said Elizabeth Griego, UOP vice president for student life and an education professor who has researched the use of social networking sites. Users can get instant updates and listen to music -- it's immediate feedback.
"Students are accessing these sites not just once a day, but multiple times a day," Griego said. "(MySpace and Facebook) are the two most powerful organs of this generation to communicate. They can pass information on lightning quick. It's easy to mobilize people in a short period of time."
A millennial is any person who reached college age after 2000, Griego said.
UOP students visited Kweli's site, leaving him e-mail messages and posts pleading with him to come to the campus.
Kweli is an original member of the rap group Black Star, which he formed with well-known rap artist and actor Mos Def. He's described as a socially conscious rapper. He'll be paid about $40,000 for the performance; funding will come from ticket sales and student fees, said Jenn Mazzotta, assistant director for programming.
UOP's student government surveyed students for possible concert musicians, and Kweli was an overwhelming favorite, said Nick Kajimoto, arts and entertainment commissioner and business junior.
UOP's student leaders use MySpace and Facebook to organize annual trips and concerts.
"They're really good networking sites. They just connect people," Kajimoto said.
Tickets for the Kweli concert can be purchased through the Associated Students of University of Pacific office on campus. The cost for students is $12 and $22.50 for the public. Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall. For more information, call 946-2233 or visit http://asuop.pacific.edu.
Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339.