USG finalizes budget for 2023-24 school year
Senators once again debated the size and use of the Concerts Committee’s allocation in the Undergraduate Student Government’s second summer senate meeting. At the end of the almost two-hour long meeting, senators finalized the full budget for the 2023-24 school year.
USG also confirmed the appointments of several programming directors, including for the First Generation Student Assembly, the Middle Eastern North African Student Assembly, the Student Assembly for Accessibility and the Concerts Committee.
After the appointments and confirmations, senator Brandon Tavakoli continued to voice his concerns regarding the $542,000 allocation to the Concerts Committee, as he did in last week’s meeting. Tavakoli had looked into the Concerts Committee’s spending over the last year and inquired whether it was “reasonable” to spend $165,000 on a headliner for a concert.
Riley Wheaton, the co-executive director of the Concerts Committee, said the price for “notable and recognizable” artists was a lot higher than people really anticipate.
“I understand that is a lot of money, [that’s] just in the climate of how expensive things are today,” Wheaton said. “In order to throw the events we historically have and are expected to … that is just the cost of things in today’s day and age.”
Later in the meeting, senator Julianna Melendez proposed a bill to limit the amount of money the committee spends on any individual headliner to $100,000 and to invite more student performers to concerts.
“With this $100,000, the sort of artists they’re getting, I believe, would be of a higher caliber than in the past … and then that way they can integrate more student performers,” Melendez said. “From student feedback, a lot of the artists in the past were more niche and the budget was split in more ways. Therefore, they couldn’t spend up to $100,000 on one artist.”
Wheaton said that the limit Melendez proposed in her bill was “just not enough” to book the large artists that senators had in mind.