Programming office gets funding hike

    The A.S. Council accepted the recommendation of its finance committee at its Oct. 19 meeting, which gave the programming office $13,270 from the General Unallocated funds to cover concerts, nooners, T.G.I.O. events, Sun God, operating costs and stipends for programming staff.

    The proposal drafted by Commissoner of Programming Eric Morris was initailly approved by the finance committee, according to Sixth College Senior Senator Matt Corrales.

    The council additionally approved reallocating the $18,000 Sun God ticket sale revenues from General Unallocated to the programming office’s 2005-06 Budget. These funds will go to the office’s Sun God account to be used for this year’s Sun God festival.

    “These events cost a lot of money is what it comes down to,” Morris said. “Sun God eats up so much, and things like band costs, lights and supplies aren’t cheap. Technical services increased their wages from $14 to $22 per hour and in order to cover this expense we need more money. We want to provide more events and more frequent events but we can’t because we’re tapped out.”

    A.S. Programming receives $432,000 per year from the A.S. Council’s budget to fund events. Last year’s Sun God cost roughly $200,000 and made an $18,000 profit, Morris said.

    The council’s senators are frequently supportive of additional programming funds and the recent approval was proof of that support, , according to A.S. Vice President of Finance Greg Murphy,

    “Most A.S. senators generally feel that A.S. Programming might be the thing that A.S. does which most benefits the students,” Murphy said.

    Part of the $13,270 will go toward installing a $150 stipend that would allow 10 of Morris’ programming staff to operate UCSD vehicles such as flatbeds and SUV’s.

    The current situation, where only Morris is allowed to drive university vehicles, makes programming difficult during events, he said.

    “I have to be present at the event and can’t be driving around,” Morris said. “Having more drivers is a necessity.” Morris said drivers would be needed to assist in transporting equipment during shows and chauffeuring band members around San Diego.

    The A.S. Council currently has a budget of about $1.3 million, including $99,000 that was unspent from last year.

    Although A.S. Programming is an entity important to campus life, every organization should receive equal treatment when reviewing funding proposals, according to A.S. President Christopher Sweeten.

    “We try to make sure that we treat each organization equally,” Sweeten said before the proposal was passed. “Each add different components to campus life, and we want to be fair to all of them.”

    Extra funding is required because the programming office is specifically trying to address student concerns stated in the 2005 Undergraduate Student Experience Report, Morris said. A specific goal that would require more funding is increased reputation, which Morris plans to achieve citywide through advertising banners across San Diego, he said.

    “I think we should all buckle down and spend the money we have to make it happen,” Morris said.

    An additional initiative for programming is to expand campus events by involving different groups of students, Morris said. On Oct. 25, MTVu will host the first ever “Gamer’s Ball,” a free festival which will serve the student video-game community.

    Additionally, Morris said he will include student input when planning events. In response to the satisfaction report, Morris said he is considering bringing back “TGIF,” a weekly concert on the hump by Student Center that was shut down some years ago.

    The event could create more campus unity but would require more funding to make it possible, Morris said.

    This school year, A.S. Programming has orchestrated a Price Center lunchtime concert featuring “Reggie and the Full Effects,” the all-campus dance and the annual FallFest concert, featuring Yellowcard.

    “We are easily as good as last year, and in some cases, better,” Morris said. “We’ve done a better job in a subtle way that’s not visible to students. Our professionalism has grown over the years so we are prepared for events sooner and not doing things last minute. We are now more like a professional event office.”

    While Morris would not specify which events he has lined up for the rest of the year, he said the office will provide more exciting events with more funding.

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