Paying twice for a concert?

Student Government (SG) is considering changing a statute that allows students to be charged for tickets to concerts such as Homecoming, USF Week and Bull Stock. 

Current statutes allow SG to charge students for events paid for with Activity and Service (A&S) fees paid alongside tuition.

The Senate Rules Committee, however, decided the wording is unclear on what events SG may charge for.

SG Senate President Pro-Tempore Abdool Aziz said the rationale behind reserving this power is to help subsidize the budget for concerts.

“Say we only have $100,000 and Maroon 5 costs $200,000,” he said. “Students may rather pay — like at FIU — $5 for floor tickets or club tickets.”

SG hasn’t charged for concerts in the past, Aziz said, but the ability is there.

“That’s not the road we want to go down,” he said. “Although it could be a possibility.”

The rules on what SG can charge students came up when the Senate Rules Committee reviewed Title VIII and noticed it conflicted with Florida state law, which states SG may only charge for concerts hosted by A&S-funded entities, such as the Center for Student Involvement. 

Aziz said the Florida law allowing SG to charge for concert tickets is to give them more flexibility with sponsored activities.

SG Senator Michael Malagon, who sits on the committee, said the change should make students less concerned with abuse. 

“The way it’s worded right now is very vague,” he said. 

Any organizations that want to subsidize a concert would have to receive authorization from the student body president or a majority vote from SG Senate.

“If they come before students, they’re going to need a very, very good reason,” Malagon said. “I know most senators wouldn’t vote for it.”

Student body president Jean Cocco said he believes all A&S-funded events should be open to students, free of charge.

Mitch Marinack, a senior majoring in health sciences, said the university should let students attend concerts for free, but charge the rest of the Tampa community. 

Christian Grubb, a Physical Plant employee, said free concerts are a nice bonus for the staff that works on campus.

“It’s cool to go and relax, actually enjoy being on campus instead of just working,” he said.

Melanie Corbett, a freshman majoring in international business, said school events are supposed to be open for everyone to relax and not stress about money and debt.

“When I think of school functions, I think of free,” she said. “Unless you’re going to get a big artist, it’s pointless to throw more money at
concerts.”

Cheyenne Ram, a sophomore majoring in behavioral sciences, said tickets would reduce turnout and that less-famous bands could be a
benefit. 

“Even if you’re not a fan, you just go and maybe end up liking them,” she said. “For me, that’s what happened with The All-American Rejects.”

Under the statute changes, ticket sales would subsidize the event. Any funds collected over that amount would be sent to an unallocated cash account that SG Senate later distributes.

“It could go to another concert, in theory,” Malagon said. “It could go to Homecoming, or wind up in a student organization or another concert.”

Aziz said ticket sales could also deter those outside the USF community from showing up for a free concert. In previous concerts, Aziz said there have been problems with high school students and residents from the surrounding area attending events. 

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