ACE initiates structural changes for CC budget proposal

Today, College Council (CC) will vote on allocating a proposed $99,550 budget to All Campus Entertainment (ACE) to begin contracting with artists for the 2014-15 school year.

“In this year’s budget, and indeed in all past ACE Concerts’ budgets, we have to consider the fixed costs, including things like stage set-up and man power, and the cost of the performer, which fluctuates depending on the genre, the specific artist and the year,” ACE Concerts Co-Chair Funmilayo Adejobi ’17 said. “Although we’d like to get as much money as possible to get as great a performer as we can, we also have to be cognizant of CC’s other needs and the needs of other organizations on campus. Thus, we will work within our budget to get the biggest bang for our buck, so to speak, for next year’s concert.”

The proposed budget includes $71,400 for a concert by a well-recognized artist and $5,850 for every smaller concert ACE holds.  As in recent years, this budget will be separate from ACE’s overall budget.

CC Treasurer Teddy Cohan ’16 expressed concern that spending nearly one quarter of CC’s $425,000 budget on ACE Concerts would be irresponsible, as a portion of that funding could go to other student groups instead, and may not necessarily guarantee that ACE will be able to attract a better performer.

“Students have consistently wanted to see a big concert on campus at some point during the year (in the past, this has either been at Homecoming or in the spring). This is one event which is attended by a large percentage of the student body, and helps provide a change of pace to the semester,” CC Co-president Emily Dzieciatko ’15 said.

“That being said, we prioritize first and foremost the needs of our student organizations. CC is committed to ensuring that our student groups will have the resources they need to operate, and we consider the ACE Concerts request with that priority firmly in mind,” Dzieciatko elaborated.

In recent years, CC has budgeted between $50,000 and $80,000 for ACE Concerts. This usually comprises ACE Concert’s entire budget, as CC has committed to ensuring that all College events are free to attend by prohibiting ACE from requiring students to purchase tickets.

“The College Council Bylaws state that ‘All events funded by College Council must be free to attend and open to the entire campus, unless granted special permission by the Council,’ (Article VI, Section 4f). Though, as stated, CC can make exceptions, making students pay for tickets to the biggest concert of the year seemed like a massive contradiction to the spirit of the CC bylaws and Constitution, as well as the values of the College as a whole,” Dzieciatko said.

Dzieciatko explained that “an event as large as the spring concert should be truly open to the entire student body to attend, regardless of ability to pay.”