Added funding for USF Week, cements annual tradition

ORACLE PHOTO/JASMINE ABNEY

What was once a one-day celebration of the founding of the university has grown into an annual weeklong tradition.

Though the Student Government (SG) Senate voted 36-0-2 in favor of increasing the funding for this year’s USF Week by $143,100, this will be the last time the campus tradition will receive additional mid-year funding from SG.

Instead, as a contingency of the USF Week Enhancement Bill passed Tuesday evening, the  Center for Student Involvement (CSI) will have to request funding for USF Week and its signature BullStock event in its annual request for Activity and Service (A&S) fee funding.

This year, CSI received $471,300 from SG’s annual A&S allocation. According to CSI Director Monica Miranda, $120,000 of the added $143,100 will be spent on contractual fees to book artists for the BullStock music festival. Approximately $15,000 will be spent on programming and $8,100 has been allocated to administrative overhead costs.

Miranda said the switch from requesting additional funding -—  usually occurring in January —  to adding the USF Week budget to the annual A&S request — typically approved in April — will allow CSI to prepare better and begin planning earlier with knowing what is in the budget.

“If (SG) approves (the extra funding) in our annual budget request, then it provides us the opportunity to contract the performers for BullStock much earlier,” she said. “If we contract earlier, it increases our chances of locking in the performers we prefer before they go elsewhere.”

This year’s BullStock performers will likely be announced within four to six weeks, Miranda said.

Last year, SG approved an additional $161,120 from its unallocated cash account for USF Week, supplementing that year’s existing $189,000 for the event.

Currently, CSI estimates its budget has approximately $20,000 remaining for USF Week and $69,325 remaining for BullStock. In 2014, $41,252 was spent on USF Week and roughly $264,000 was spent on BullStock.

This year’s added funding comes from SG’s currently unallocated cash account of more than $1.2 million.

Miranda said BullStock needs the funding earlier in the year so as not to conflict with the music festival season, as the university is competing for artists against big-name events such as Coachella in April. Artists like Homecoming performer T.I. can cost around $90,000. Bigger name acts, such as Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift, can cost more than $1 million.

In an SG survey of 974 students from earlier this academic year, most students said they wanted mainstream artists in the pop or rap genres to perform at BullStock. 

USF Week began as a one-day program until SG asked CSI to expand the program to a weeklong series funded by special allocations. In 2014, the week’s finale BullStock drew in 7,500 students, a 30 percent increase from the year before.

This year’s USF Week will be on the week of April 9 — or what former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio declared “USF Day” in 2010.

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