Student Government Allocations denies funding for inaugural music festival

710

Union Board proposed a plan to create an inaugural community music festival this spring, featuring artists from several genres, until the Allocations Board cut the festival's entire $100,000 budget.
After the spring budget was released, the Allocations Board simply could not find the means to fund the project, according to Director of Allocations senior Mark Weiss.
"It was an awesome proposal," Weiss said in reference to the Union Board's plan.
Senior Tavares Ingram, Union Board concert chair, explained that he was surprised to find that the project had to be cut entirely.
"We were willing to reduce the price, but we didn't expect it to be cut completely," said Ingram, whose Union Board has brought acts such as Dave Matthews Band, Train, Mike Posner, and the Black Eyed Peas to campus in previous years.
Calling the proposal a "dream," Ingram described the event as a three to four day festival, which would bring several artists from a wide variety of genres to campus. Potential acts included Juicy J, Schoolboy Q and Robert DeLong.
Weiss points to an increase in funding requests from other student organizations and a lack of student interest in previous years' concerts as the reasons why the community-wide festival was denied funding completely.
Weiss says that the $490,000 requested was the most that had ever been asked of the Allocations Board. Of that, $246,000 was allocated.
The Allocations Board receives their funds through the $250 student activities fee paid by each student. Weiss admits that the board was forced to dip into a 'rainy day' event-by-event account that holds additional unallocated money from previous semesters.
"We looked at the fact that it wasn't well-attended [last year]," Weiss said. "It was just one of those things where we didn't think [the event] would get enough bang for our buck."
Ingram, however, believes that the event would help bridge the gap not just among DePauw students, but also between the students and Greencastle residents.
"Everyone would have someone to look forward to, which in turn would bring in a good audience and a diverse audience," Ingram said. "We don't always have to depend on greek organizations to have fun. We can all come together and have fun...[it can] show the potential of the unity we can have as a DePauw community."
Students echoed the same response.
"I think it would be really cool to be able to entice everyone's likes and wants into one event," said sophomore Rebecca Beyers.
First-year Jessica Pagan agrees. She thinks that the event could bring together students with different interests.
"I think it would be a really good idea," Pagan said. "The gap between the CLA [College of Liberal Arts] and the School of Music is so big. Bringing in different genres would be a really great way to bring us all together."
While the festival may have been cancelled, Weiss is optimistic of a potential single concert this spring.
"We're still looking at alternative ways we can have a smaller concert," he said.
Ingram, however, believes that Union Board is not exploring the option simply because there is not enough time to book an act this close to the performance date. Despite this, he asks for support moving forward and assures the student body that the Union Board will return with a new, similar proposal next year.
"Having support from the campus and allocations believing in us goes a long way," Ingram said. "We'll be back."
Weiss stressed his goal was for everyone to be happy while still understanding that there is only so much that the Allocations Board can do.
"I just don't want people to think their door was closed on them or they have no chance," Weiss said. "They know the door is open. Some organizations know what works with us and what doesn't."
Ingram echoed the same response.
"We're confident it will happen in the fall semester," he said. "Learning from this process, we know what they're looking for."
Student Government Allocations funded 82 organizations this semester, which is up from 71 last semester.
Weiss extended a motion to the board of trustees on Feb. 8 to tithe the student activity fee to 0.6 percent of the total tuition costs. The board's decision will be announced with the final tuition cost, which is set to be released at the end of this month.