Staff Editorial: High concert expectations breed financial woes

By hosting major concerts two years in a row, we fear that the Student Association has set a precedent for years to come. Last year's executive board dug us into a $109,000 deficit largely created by dipping into reserves for last year's concert.

This year, $20,000 was allocated from reserves to Budget Increases in order to allocate a total of $51,045 to the Activities Commission's Concerts account.

The purpose of the reserve fund is not, as many students believe, for additional funds when the budget is running low. The point of the reserve funds is to have a pool of money available in case of an emergency – for instance, if the referendum failed to pass one year and student activity fees became optional.

 It's unlikely that the referendum would fail in the next few years. Even the $15 increase to the mandatory student fee passed last year, though incidentally, that did not make up for the year's deficit. If the referendum ever actually failed, we would need those reserves.

There are currently $375,555.58 in the reserve fund, portions of which are untouchable. If Geneseo continues hosting large scale concerts, however, and taking money out of the fund without being able to make it all back, like last year, we fear that the reserves could become dangerously low. Continuing such fiscal behavior would be definitively irresponsible.

If we don't compromise on the concert budget in years to come, cuts will have to be made elsewhere. We see the importance in bringing a band that will draw the majority of the school, but if it comes at the cost of other student organizations, what would that say about Geneseo?

SA exists to support our organizations and those with less student participation would likely see their budgets decrease year by year. We feel that programs that exist year round, that provide students with opportunities every day, should not be compromised for a single enormous event.  

There's also the issue of drawing in prospective students. Having an impressive concert is a huge selling point for Geneseo. We cannot and do not deny that to be able to say Ke$ha was here is fantastic advertising. When it comes down to it, however, prospective students are going to look at the small student organizations as well. Geneseo currently has an array of organizations that, for the most part, receive any aid they need from SA. That is as it should be. To continue chipping away at the reserve fund in order to boast large scale concerts is both socially and fiscally irresponsible.