With reduced budget, ACE makes adjustments to Homecoming plans

All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) now announced significant changes to its Homecoming programming, as budgetary issues prevented the group from pursuing the concert they proposed to College Council (CC) last spring. ACE will sponsor a Homecoming event on Nov. 2, but the location of the event and type of artist that will perform will be atypical due to budget considerations.

“[The Homecoming concert] may not be what [students] are used to, but we are confident that they will have a good time,” Michelle Almeida ’13, co-president of ACE, said. “Students will still have an event to attend, and it will still be as large of a capacity as the [Towne] Field House has been. It will be free.”

The tradition of a Homecoming concert at the College has brought such artists as Mike Posner, Kid Cudi and Gym Class Heroes to campus. This year, the Homecoming event will change venues from the typical Towne Field House concert of the past to Paresky, and will feature a DJ instead of a live performer. ACE has not yet released any further details on the event.

Modifications to the event this year resulted from a decrease in the yearly budget from the $83,400 ACE requested from CC to $25,350 they received for the Homecoming concert.

According to the CC minutes from the May 9 meeting in which the Homecoming concert’s budget was discussed, ACE was informed that, due to the late submission of their budget, they would not receive the funding they had requested from CC at that time. However, they were allowed to present additional budgets to CC Campus, the portion of CC that functions as the organization’s operating body over the summer. It was through discussions over the summer that ACE’s concert budget was eventually set.

“ACE Concerts [Committee] initially proposed a budget of $83,400, but presented it at the last CC meeting of the spring 2012 term, so Council did not have enough time to fully consider such a substantial request,” CC co-president Peter Skipper  ’13 said. “Since College Council did not want there to be no Homecoming Concert at all this year, we were in communication with the ACE Concerts Committee over the summer, and that’s where the $25,350 figure comes from.”

The funding that CC allocates is primarily drawn from the Student Activities Tax (SAT), to which each student contributes 95 dollars per semester as part of his tuition. The requested $83,400 would have represented one quarter of the annual SAT funding. The difference between the amount ACE requested and the amount CC granted ACE for Homecoming ($58,050) remains in CC’s accounts this fall and is being allocated to subgroups with the rest of the CC funding. According to Skipper, the “extra liquidity” that ACE’s lower concert budget has afforded CC leaves ACE the opportunity to potentially apply for funding for other concerts later in the year.

“The decision to have a lower-cost concert was based on a number of concerns by the student body as to where their money was being allocated, which has pushed us to do a full review of the ACE Concerts structure,” Kushatha Fanikiso ’13, co-president of ACE, said. “The ultimate decision on how much was allotted was a result of a conversation between CC and ACE.”

As has been the case in recent years since ACE’s large concert has been designated as Homecoming as opposed to in the spring. ACE applies for its Homecoming concert funding in the spring and then for the rest of its budget in the fall with other subgroups, though ACE does receive some money from the Office for Campus Life as well.

The organization plans to continue traditional ACE programming such as First Fridays and Stressbusters throughout the year.

“We will also be bringing back popular events such as Laser Tag, Mr. Williams, Spirit Week, a comedian, as well as any ideas students present to us that we can budget for,” Almeida said.

According to Fanikiso, the continuation of Homecoming concerts in the future depends on the degree of feedback from the student body.

“ACE Concerts, in cooperation with CC, is doing a complete review using informational pamphlets and surveying the campus in coming weeks,” Fanikiso said.

“It’s a new type of event this year, and we want to see how the students respond.”

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