Movies on the Lawn has become a mainstay every Wednesday evening on the USF Tampa Campus. The Campus Activities Board is to thank for this USF tradition of free movies and snacks. Movies on the Lawn is not the only thing that CAB does for students, though. Nationally known comedians and music concerts, such as Bullstock earlier this month, are also organized and offered to entertain students.
Student Government granted CAB a $92,000 funding increase for 2004 through 2005. Student body President Bijal Chhadva was a senator when SG passed these funding increases. Chhadva said the funding increases were passed because, “(CAB) is the main board of students that put up programs and campus events that cater to the entire student body and not just a particular organization or a particular group of people.”
CAB is a student-funded and -operated organization. CAB is funded by Activities & Service fees through SG. These A&S fees are paid for as part of every student’s tuition. When representatives of CAB were approached for question they declined.
Chhadva mentioned “more promotional events and a different variety of events like different kinds of concerts and bringing comedians on campus,” as a few benefits that students might see from the funding increases.
Nationally-known comedian Kathy Griffin was the headliner for Round-Up this year. “This one (Round-Up) had theater-style seating and a stage. There were some pep rally components to it, but there were also performances.” Chhadva explained, “In years past, it (Round-Up) was just a pep rally. People would come and people would scream and people would leave. But this time people came, they screamed, and then they saw a performance, and then they left.”
One of the larger changes in the allocations of funding for CAB is the amount of funding for the annual Round-Up event at the beginning of the semester. $50,000.00 was allocated for the 2004-2005 Round-Up in August 2004, and during 2003-2004 there was only $8,000.00 allocated for Round-Up. “Round-Up was so much bigger this year,” Chhadva said, “Student Government used to do Round-Up. This year it was Campus Activities Board and student activities, but mostly it was Campus Activities Board who put it on.”
Frank Harrison was the outreach director for CAB during the fall semester of 2004. In regards to the funding increase for Round-Up, he said, “This year, $50,000 of the funding increase went to Round-Up talent. In the past they’ve (CAB) spent $8,000 and you can’t get the same quality of performer for that kind of money.”
There were also substantial increases in the funding allocations for CAB’ s operating expenses. SG Senate President Stavros Papandreou commented on this increase, saying, “Basically they did more events. National talents have come here and that’s what got more money.”
A good example of the national talents brought to USF by CAB is Aries Spears, a comedian known for his involvement with Fox’s television show Mad TV, who appeared on behalf of CAB in October 2004. Papandreou said “These people (nationally-known performers) require more money. If you bring a local person you can give them $1,000 and that’s fine. But these people (nationally-known performers) have sign-up fees, they have contracts, you have to pay for their hotels and all that.
“So that’s where the increase went,” said Papandreou. “It went to the fact that CAB was able to get nationally-recognized artists instead of just local artists.”
The allocated operating expenses for the 2003-2004 fiscal year was $250,000. In 2004-2005, the allocated operating expenses were increased to $318,850. Chhadva said the allocations of funding were increased because “that’s where the money is most needed to expand and build events to make them bigger and better.”
Papandreou also pointed out, “Before, they were doing a patio Tuesday once a month. Now they’re doing it once a week.” Patio Tuesdays are CAB sponsored events in which free meals are dispersed to students outdoors on the Marshall Center Patio.
“CAB basically does events for the students, so we give them as much money as possible, because what they do is they serve the whole student population.” Papandreou said.
Looking ahead to the next fiscal year, Papandreou mentioned that CAB funding “is probably going to be more this year.”
CAB’s line-up for the remainder of spring 2005 includes more presentations of Movies on the Lawn as well as nationally-known comedian Dat Phan, last season’s winner of NBC’s program The Last Comic Standing. Hopefully, funding to CAB will remain a priority and students will continue to receive the benefits of a well-funded CAB.
Gina Araya contributed to this story.