AC requests $75k for concert budget increase

Activities Commission has proposed an increase in the spring concert budget for the third consecutive year. Activities Commission Concert Coordinator junior Jenny Keller presented the request for a $75,000 budget increase at a primary reading for Student Association on Wednesday Nov. 7.

Keller started the reading by highlighting her credentials with managing concerts and large sums of money.

“My skills at managing events are highly transferrable,” she said.

Keller went on to discuss the process of narrowing down the list of feasible spring concert performers.

“Unfortunately, there is no formula to bring the perfect, sellout artist here,” she said.

To get student feedback on potential musical acts, Activities Commission tabled in the MacVittie College Union Lobby and conducted surveys on KnightLink.

“I’ve been thinking about switching from polling on KnightLink to Facebook … I think we will get a better sample size that way,” Keller said. More than half of the student body participated in these surveys, which, according to Keller, is an impressive rate of response.

Keller highlighted the complications and intricacies surrounding the process of booking artists including scheduling conflicts, reactions to appearances at other institutions and cost considerations.

After taking these factors into account, Keller said she narrowed the original list of potential performers down to 47 possibilities. She explained that it is ideal to select the final choice from the top 15 contenders.

“Out of the original 15, only five artists are within our current price range, accounting feasibility,” she said.

“A budget increase of $75,000 gives Geneseo more buying power as well as an advantage over our competition,” Keller said. “More options – including more highly demanded artists – will become available to us.”

“Unfortunately, Geneseo is not a good market. The Kuhl Gym is our only available venue, and its maximum capacity is 2,700,” she said. “It is because of our small size and isolated location in a rural area that detracts from our value on the market. This is another reason why buying power must be our strong suit.”

According to Keller, any money from the increased budget not spent on a performer would be returned to SA.

SA President senior Carly Annable opened up a period for questions and discussion at the end of Keller’s presentation during which concerns were raised about SA’s fiscal ability to fund both an increased concert budget and Research and Travel grants.

In response to the proposal, SA Director of Public Relations junior Forrest Regan, said that as a concert budget increase has been proposed for the past two years, this year’s proposal was expected.

“No one has made any decision yet,” Regan said. “The past two SA executive committees deemed the increase reasonable; this time around, I’m thinking about making sure we’re covering a broad range of interests.”

Though SA has granted the budget increases in the past two years, Regan said that the organization will take different considerations into account this time around.

“We want to make sure that we are still fiscally responsible, and what’s different between this year and last year is that clubs will probably be using more of their allocated budgets,” he said.

According to Regan, SA will also take into account that 2013 is a referendum year, meaning the student body will vote on whether or not to keep the student activity fee mandatory. At least 1,000 students must vote with a two-thirds majority in order to keep the fee mandatory.

The money that Keller requested would come from the 2012-2013 mandatory student activity fees surplus, which currently stands at approximately 7.5 percent.

The second SA reading for the budget increase is at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 14 in the College Union Hunt Room.