Additional funding for Bullstock awaits approval from SG Senate

The Senate will either approve or deny the proposal passed by the Finance Committee this week, which would add an additional $50,000 to the budget for Bullstock. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

Historic music festivals such as Woodstock and Coachella have been around for decades. USF has its own version — Bullstock.

The festival, however, could be in jeopardy depending on the amount of money the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) is funded from Student Government (SG).

Bullstock is an event put on by CSI, and the department initially requested an additional $100,000 to be added to their existing budget of $123,000 to fund the event from the Finance Committee during a meeting Tuesday.

However, according to SG Sen. Yusuf Fattah, who also sits on the committee responsible for initially allocating dollars to events like Bullstock, the request was only approved for $50,000, not the full $100,000.

The money allocated by the Senate is from the Activity and Service (A&S) Fee, which is paid through student tuition.

Fattah said Bullstock’s 2017-18 budget was $246,000. The $50,000 that was passed by the Finance Committee this week and awaits a vote from the entire Senate puts forward the option of a budget totaling $173,000 for this year’s Bullstock, bringing the difference to roughly $73,000.

Fattah said CSI also presented multiple tiers of options for artists. “Tier one” was the most expensive, “tier two” was defined as a medium-level rate and “tier three” was the cheapest artist options.

Discussions of specific artists that could be brought in for the event did not happen, according to Fattah, although example options were presented. Tier one included examples like All Time Low and AWOLNATION. Tier two included Plain White Tees and All American Rejects, among others, and the bottom tier included The Wombats and Night Riots.

Fiscal bills are not allowed to be edited on the Senate floor, so the request will either be approved or denied.

If the $50,000 is added to their budget, Bullstock would be able to fund a tier one artist, one lower-tier artist, and one “very bottom artist,” according to Fattah. He added that some of the other members of the Finance Committee were having a hard time allocating hefty amounts because they would rather have dollars roll over to the next year.

“We need to spend this money to give students good programs now,” Fattah said. “They are spending this money (in tuition) and this is what they should be spending it on.

“Had there been more money, I think the conversation would have been different.”

Monica Miranda, the director of CSI, could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

Funding similar events to Bullstock have been points of contention within the Senate in the past and, according to Fattah, that is because it comes down to “per-head numbers.”

“The reason people do not like funding concerts at this level is because they like to stress on per-head numbers,” Fattah said. “A lot of times when you are seeing Bullstock or the Homecoming Concert get attendance levels of at max 10,000 people, but you are spending $200,000 on artists, a lot of time that breakdown does not make sense in their minds because they are just considering per-head amounts and not how much it would cost a student to attend a concert outside of USF.”

Fattah added that events like Bullstock help to shape the overall student experience.

“A lot of people have a hard time realizing that a lot of times at universities, concerts are not a luxury, it is the expectation,” Fattah said. “If we want to move USF in the next direction, a lot of times that is with concerts and these concerts could really improve our experience at the end of the day.”

Fattah encourages students to voice their opinions on the funding of Bullstock at Tuesday’s Senate meeting at 6 p.m. in the Senate Chambers.

“A lot of senators minds can be changed on the Senate floor, so I would encourage any students who have an opinion on this, who want to see this request pass through to come to the Senate meeting and voice their opinions at the beginning of the meeting to make it clear what they want,” Fattah said.