At the Wednesday Nov. 14 Student Association meeting, Activities Commission proposed a $50,000 budget increase for the spring concert. This proposal comes one week after the initial request for an AC budget increase of $75,000.
AC Concerts Coordinator junior Jenny Keller delivered both readings. Her presentation noted the logistics of bringing student-preferred performance artists to Geneseo. According to Keller, the feasibility of bringing popular artists to Geneseo can be an issue, due to artist availability on the concert date and price.
Keller said that in order to make the concert a great success for the student body, it’s important to keep ticket prices low, at what she said was ideally $20 per ticket.
She said that while AC currently has enough money to bring a musical artist to Geneseo, there is not necessarily enough money in the budget to secure an artist that lies in the top 15 artists preferred by Geneseo students.
In regard to the budget proposal, Keller said, “It’s a question of how far down the list [of student-requested artists] we are willing to go.”
Keller said that there are a variety of reasons why the budget should be increased by $50,000. Because Geneseo has a smaller venue and is in a more remote location, Keller said that an increased budget could help Geneseo’s status in comparison to other colleges. Additionally, the money would help pay for an opening artist, lower ticket prices and increased likelihood of selling out.
After Keller’s presentation, the floor opened for questions from the SA executive board and students present at the meeting. An open discussion followed the question session. Members of the SA executive board inquired about the requested budget increase amount, ticket prices, opening acts and audience reception to the concert. Keller answered questions using her own research, including electronic campus-wide surveys that were available to students earlier in the semester.
According to Keller and other members of AC, any money that is not spent on the concert will be returned to the SA reserves at the end of the fiscal year.
“The point of SA is to appeal to the most students possible, and this [concert] is how you’re going to do it,” said AC Treasurer senior Trevor Peglowski.
Opponents of the budget increase said that AC should be able to manage with its initial concert budget and any additional money that might be added to the concert budget would be better spent in the hands of campus organizations.
“Although I think concert allocation is important, I’ve also seen how massive one-time allocations can detriment public organizations,” said SA Vice President Justin Shapiro.
Other members of the SA executive board expressed hesitancy to support such a large monetary addition to the budget. SA Director of Inter-Residence Affairs senior Silvia Roma said that she advocates for the careful allocation of SA funds.
“Advocating for students is our job here,” SA Director of Business Affairs junior Casey Howard said.
SA Director of Academic Affairs senior Dara Gell said that she’s reluctant about the idea of additional funding, since the last two spring concerts required a budget increase as well.
“I’m concerned about setting the precedent that concerts will get a budget increase each year,” Gell said.
After about two hours of discussion, the SA executive board proposed an amendment to the original budget increase of $50,000, calling for a $30,000 increase instead.
The amended reading for a $30,000 increase passed by a unanimous vote.