Activity funding gets raise
The Campus Activities Board will spend nearly half a million dollars on events this year. Keri Riegler, CAB’s senior program coordinator, said student government allotted $417,799 to CAB, as opposed to last year’s $404,692.
The money comes from the student Activity and Services Fee. The average student pays about $100 per semester in A&S Fees.
“We did request (an increase in funding) and received it,” Riegler said. “The minimum wage law affected how our staff was to be paid, so that was part of the increase.”
Aside from payroll, Riegler said CAB’s budget for this year will go toward events, advertising and overhead costs related to running a business.
“We try to keep all the events free to students,” Executive Director Edna Jones said. “Occasionally, we will have to charge a small fee depending on how much the event is going to cost us, but CAB is about student life on campus, and college students don’t usually have a lot of money.”
According to Riegler, CAB spends between $10,000 and $20,000 per performance and roughly another $15,000 to use the Sun Dome for an event. By charging students a minor fee of five or 10 dollars, she said, CAB can extend its budget to include an extra event or two per year.
“Any extra money left over at the end of the year is very minimal. We’re usually pretty good at using most of it,” Riegler said. “If there is some there, though, then we generally put it towards summer programs or minor upgrades for the (CAB) office.”
Riegler said that putting on smaller events, such as Movies on the Lawn and Patio Tuesday, can cost as little as $1,200 or as much as $3,500.
“Right now, Movies on the Lawn has the highest attendance rate, next to concerts and comedy shows,” said Ryan Thomas, the marketing director for CAB.
According to Thomas, attendance can be from 150 to 1,000 students for shows at Crescent Hill.
Jones said that while most students attending the events live on campus, CAB is looking to expand and target off-campus students as well.
“We find out what the students want to see and which performers to bring on campus by blitzing them in golf carts during an event and asking them to fill out questionnaires; this way we aren’t wasting money on events students don’t care about seeing,” Jones said.
Connie Ramos, the promotions director for CAB, said there are certain types of concerts the student body wants to see.
“Most of the student body seems to want hip-hop concerts on campus, so that’s what we mostly cater to right now, but we have performers like Josh Gracin from American Idol who’s coming soon as well,” she said.
Riegler said that while smaller performances cost less, CAB would like to book bigger names most of the time, such as the concert put on two years ago by rap artists the Ying Yang Twins or, more recently, the comedic performance of Dane Cook.
Both Jones and Thomas said CAB also puts on Bulls Night Out, which works as an intricate part of Welcome Week. CAB also added a new “Traditions” department to its office.
“Traditions” is responsible for Club USF and Bull Mania and was an idea from last year finally made active,” Jones said.
He said the department serves to continue old traditions and create new ones from feedback they receive from the student body.