Staff Editorial: Concert budget increase unequally distributes funds, reveals misguided priorities

Following a second reading for Activities Commission’s proposed $50,000 spring concert budget increase, Student Association voted to increase the budget by $30,000.

While $30,000 is preferable to the original reading’s proposed $75,000 increase, a five-figure increase of any kind remains an irresponsible use of student funds.

The funds come from an account that contains leftover funds from the 2011-2012 school year: $48,000 left for use by SA organizations.

An increase of this size crowds out these organizations looking to make use of funds for potential conferences, lectures and other events that encourage learning. While a big concert is certainly fun for one night, it does little to foster long-term growth – it’s all show, no substance.

Simply put, the spring concert is a single-night event that fails to encompass the entire student population. With Kuhl Gym’s limited capacity of 2,700 and potential ticket price increases, too large a share of the student body is left unable to participate in the evening’s event. Coupled with the impossible task of booking an artist that appeals to every student, using such a large share of funds seems like an improper appropriation of resources.

Part of Geneseo’s mission, according to its website, is to employ a “rich co-curricular life to create a learning-centered environment.” While a big-name musical act may be an exciting moment in co-curricular life, it does not stimulate the type of growth in its student body that Geneseo prides itself on, and certainly does not “develop socially responsible citizens.”

We at The Lamron are not denying the entertainment value of the spring concert. It is sure to be a fun-filled event, but it is just that: empty fun. And it will be fun regardless of performer, whether the featured act costs $105,000 or $75,000. The needless distribution of student funds to the concert at the expense of other groups is a slight of learning in the name of frivolous play.

By using $30,000 of $78,000 on the spring concert alone, SA puts all of its eggs in one basket. It is a disproportional assignment of resources to a single event, creating the possibility that another student organization may be left holding the short end of the stick in the future. SA cannot foresee other potential needs for budget increases, some of which may be more imperative than securing a more expensive artist; committing that much funding now shows an irresponsible lack of foresight.

The concert budget increase is a gluttonous misuse of limited resources that reflects a flaw in SA’s priorities. It emphasizes spectacle rather than a commitment to student learning and growth. It is $30,000 that could be used for other integral – although less flashy – student organizations instead of what will essentially end up as a really expensive one-night stand.