Thursday, July 25, 2024

SA Senate meeting heats up with concert funds debate

Wednesday’s Student Association Senate meeting was more contentious than usual this week, with debate over funding for next semester’s “Spring Fest” dominating the conversation.
The Ad-Hoc Concert Coordination Committee represented by co-chairs Shiyiheeim Nartey-Tokoli and Joe Lewis requested the approval of a total of $25,244.87 from the SA.
$73,000 was already allocated to the Concert Coordination Committee for a “Spring Fest” concert.
Outgoing Vice President of Finance Nartey-Tokoli presented the committee’s case for an additional $25,244.87 from two accounts: $20,244.87 from the SA Additional Allocations Fund, the same fund from which clubs and associations request money, and $5,000 from the SA Travel Grant Fund.
Nartey-Tokoli’s presentation showed figures of all the clubs and organizations that requested money through the course of the semester against previous years’ budgets at the start and the ends of their terms.
The $20,244.87 that was requested from the allocations fund, if not transferred to the committee, would be put into reserves and only be made available in two years time.
“The goal is to spend the money in the academic year on students now,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Brian Hartman, an advisor to the Finance Board. “That’s my opinion and I’m sure people share it.”
Nartey-Tokoli ran for VP of Finance in Fall 2017 with three campaign promises: increasing the number of stops on the shuttles, being fair to all club’s requests and organizing an event similar to the intended “Spring Fest”.
Nartey-Tokoli’s passion for his vision not only inspired voters to elect him to his position but also attracted like-minded individuals like committee co-chair Joe Lewis and Ibrahim Diallo, among others, to form the Concert Coordination Committee, which has an open membership policy.
“I ran for three things, and I want to give them to the students,” said Nartey-Tokoli.
The proposed event would be a two-day festival with a comedic performance by Marlon Wayans one day for a $30,000 fee, and a concert the following day headlined by two hip-hop musicians still to be determined.
“Shiy [Nartey-Tokoli] is the money guy and I’m the connection guy,” Lewis said. “I worked for an agency this summer and they represent Marlon Wayans so we were able to talk the price down.”
The tickets are expected to cost below $20 for both days for PSUC students. According to Lewis, tickets for a Wayans’ performance in Indiana were on sale for $65 each.
Last semester, the SA, Concert Coordination Committee and Finance Board estimated the event’s revenue to be $5,200; however, Hartman expressed his confidence that the first day of ‘Spring Fest’ would surpass those projections easily.
A large contingent of students attended the meeting to show their support for the festival, among them PSUC senior, Victoria Adebanjo.
“We’re always trying to walk the thin line and play it safe. Let’s take this risk,” said Adebanjo.
“Concerts and activities are something the students want, and the college supports that,” Hartman added. “We collectively want this to happen.”
This unity was not apparent across the board, though, as current VP of Diversity and Student Affairs Daniel Hoshkepazi expressed his direct opposition to “Spring Fest”.
“We need to be more conscious as to how we budget,” Hoshkepazi said.
All of the money requested by the Concert Coordination Committee was approved by the SA, almost unanimously.
“I disagree with the decision,” said Hoshepazi. He continued, “I firmly believe when you are elected you promise things, and you should do them.”
Hoshkepazi went on to say that the SA should have created a new line under the president to avail more free services and trips for students.
In other SA business, Club al Arabia was approved for $1,373.50 to cater for their event Arabian Nights that took place at the same time as the SA meeting.
Members from the upcoming legislation were also present in the meeting, watching the proceedings.
PSUC’s Student Association Senate meets every Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge of the ACC.

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