Council Cuts FallFest Budget by $85K

A.S. Council cut $85,000 from the FallFest budget to fund the Campus Events Manager position, reducing concert’s total budget from $135,000 to $50,000.

In the past, the University Affairs department usually paid for the position’s salary, but after the May 25 decision the council will now fund 70 percent of the total cost. Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Madnick said budget cuts are to blame for University Affairs’ inability to completely fund the position.

University Affairs could not pay for more than 30 percent of the position’s salary, according to Engineering Senator Parminder Sandhu. The Campus Events Manager, a full-time staff member, helps A.S. Council promote concerts, market events and book artists. In addition, he or she works with the professional side of the planning and gets the attention of artists that interest A.S. Concerts and Events.

“The manager is a mentor who [A.S. Concerts and Events] talk to [in order] to get help and to get an outside-looking view,” Vice President of Finance Kevin Hoang said.

The Associate Vice President of Concerts and Events is in charge of putting on events, while the manager offers feedback, support and resources for the AVP.

“The one big change in the structure of FallFest is not having the money to attract a big headliner,” Sandhu said.

Madnick said the ASCE office decided to keep the manager position — traditionally a permanent role staff — so his or her expertise could be used for events such as Sun God.

She added that the office chose to cut funds from the FallFest budget because the alternative was cutting money from several smaller events.

“[We’ll] rework it with a different structure,” Madnick said. “[FallFest] won’t suffer.”

AVP of Concerts and Events Oliver Zhang said ASCE is in the early stages of planning for FallFest, but has not finished hiring its concerts and events staff, including festival coordinators. ASCE will be unable to properly plan for the changes in the FallFest budget until it finishes hiring staff.

Most of the work for FallFest will occur over summer, such as booking artists and arranging security.

Zhang said that having a smaller budget gives ASCE a chance to rejuvenate the festival.

“Student orgs and the college festival committees are able to put on amazing events with great attendance regardless of their budget,” Zhang said in an email. “I’m fully confident that we’ll be able to put together a festival that kicks off Fall Quarter in a great way and gets students excited for the new year.”

Hoang said the decision to take money from the FallFest budget was left up to ASCE.

“Concerts and Events understood it would be better to take [the money] from one source instead of making each of the events smaller,” Hoang said.

ASCE was aware of the strain of taking funds from FallFest, but they wanted to protect smaller events.

“The reason money is coming out of FallFest instead of a little bit from a bunch of events is because the FallFest item can have a significant portion taken off of it, but still have a good event,” Madnick said.

Sandhu said A.S. Council is also cutting the Winter Triton Festival from the budget. This was the first year for the festival, which cost approximately $30,000, was originally planned for Fall Quarter, but headliner Donald Glover dropped out at the last minute, forcing ASCE to delay the event’s date until early march.

Sandhu said the cut will save ASCE more money for Bear Gardens. There will be an additional Bear Garden in Winter Quarter, as well as new features at each Bear Garden.

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