The dinner must go on.
With a smaller price tag and facelift, of course.
After hearing student concerns following the announcement of the Student Government (SG) Senate approving the use of student Activity and Service (A&S) fees to fund a $7,800 dinner, Senate has changed the details of The Correspondents’ Dinner.
It is now being funded from an SG auxiliary account which is not comprised of tuition dollars, according to Senate President Sarah Lucker.
The dinner is Thursday and starts at 7 p.m.
Even though Senate is no longer required to have the event open to all students because of the change in the funding source, Lucker said it will remain open for those that wish to attend.
She said that the biggest criticism Senate heard was of the cost of the dinner, specifically the $4,800 price tag for professional videography services.
The food itself will cost $3,000.
This also comes after Student Body President Moneer Kheireddine vetoed the unallocated cash request made by Senate for the dinner, citing a lack of large-scale benefits and “seemingly unneeded and overly priced videography service …”
Although Senate could have overruled Kheireddine with a supermajority vote, they chose to not to utilize this power and to fund it with auxiliary funds instead.
Lucker said Senate reached out to on-campus resources like Housing Live and the Zimmerman school. However, neither entity was able to provide their services. They also looked into using students who had videography experience but the Student Business Services — a bureau of SG that manages A&S money — requires the use of a vendor.
In the end, Senate was able to find an outside company to provide videography services that will charge $2,300, approximately halving the original cost.
On top of this, the theme itself has changed from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner style event that was planned to a Thanksgiving theme, given it is one week before the holiday.
“We’re going to have different recognition awards that students can sponsor faculty members, departments, or student organizations for,” Lucker said. “Anyone they’ve worked with throughout the year that has made an impact on them or their programming.”
A short amount of time will be allocated for the originally planned comedic sketches, as well as time to discuss new initiatives SG is working on. Toward the end, they will also be teaching attending students how to use SG’s student concern page to ensure they can bring up these possible future concerns for them to address.
Lucker said that she hopes these changes will help improve SG’s image to the student body and that she and many other senators welcome the feedback because that is the only way Senate will know if an initiative is worth pursuing.
“We don’t want to spend your (students) money on things you don’t actually want to see happen,” Lucker said.