The Student Finance Board (SFB) passed a motion on Wednesday to provide zero funding to Sankofa for its Valentine’s Day R&B concert featuring Keysha Cole and Ne-Yo as part of February’s Black History Month.
Sankofa requested $17,619 for the event, with hopes that 800 of the College’s students would attend concert in Kendall Hall. At $10 a ticket, the organization planned to put the $8,000 toward the concert’s total cost of $26,144, but many board members doubted that Sankofa could draw a full crowd.
“I’m really not confident about them selling out,” Martin Halldorson, senior representative for SFB, said.
Unlike the College Union Board (CUB), which has funds to fall back on in the event of poor attendance for concerts, Sankofa does not currently have a monetary cushion if the concert is not successful.
When the board asked if Sankofa would be able to come up with $3,000 if only 500 students attend the concert, Brittnei Wilkins, treasurer of Sankofa, said that she was “confident 800 students would attend.” According to Wilkins, the co-sponsorship with six other groups, including Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and the Asian American Association (AAA), would be the key to the concert’s success.
Board members, however, were unsatisfied with the confidence of the organization because Sankofa did not have the money to pay and would have a large deficit if the concert were unsuccessful.
“I think that they’re ill-prepared if they don’t sell out,” Steve Viola, Student Government Association (SGA) liaison to SFB, said.
Board members were also concerned about the date of the concert.
“I don’t think people will give up their Valentine’s Day,” Blair Gumnic, vice president of administration and finance for SGA, said.
Overall, the board had several issues with the concert, including the popularity of the artists, future clubs other than CUB coming to SFB with high volume requests for concerts and the concert’s place in Black History Month.
“I don’t see how (the concert) pertains to Black History Month,” Julia Pratt, executive director of SFB, said.
Most members agreed, though SFB’s liaison for the organization was disappointed.
“I personally think this concert (would) benefit the campus,” Jocelyn Charl?n, senior representative for SFB, said.
Ultimately, however, the decision was almost unanimous as the board passed a motion 12-1-1 for zero funding.
Sankofa also requested funding for two speakers as part of Black History Month: author Noliwe M. Rooks, author of “Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and African American Women,” who will speak on the “Politics of Black Skin and Hair,” and Moreno Vega, who will speak on African Diaspora and its impact on the Caribbean and the Americas.
Two motions were both passed 12-0-2 to fully fund Rooks and Vega for $500 and $2,200, respectively.
The National Council for Negro Women (NCNW) requested $202.45 in funding to send one of its members to its national convention in Washington, D.C.
The convention, however, had already begun Nov. 28, a day prior to the organization’s funding request to SFB.
Although there was no SFB meeting last week because of Thanksgiving break, board members still felt as though NCNW could have been more prompt with its request.
“I think it’s irresponsible that (the request) wasn’t handed in earlier,” Jon Borst, administrative director for SFB, said.
Many board members felt that one student attending a conference that had already started was impractical and a motion to provide zero funding was made, but failed 7-8.
A second motion to give $27.45, the amount requested for transportation costs, passed 8-6.
Men’s Club Volleyball came up for a conference request of $1,117 to fund its National Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Having given $500 to Women’s Club Volleyball only two weeks prior, the decision about how to fund this conference was not difficult for SFB to make.
A motion was passed 14-0 to provide $500 to the club.
A motion was also passed 14-0 to fully fund Men’s Club Baseball’s $980 request for its 2006 league dues.
SFB wishes to remind all clubs and organizations that want to request funding that vouchers should be in no later than Wednesday, Dec. 7. Vouchers handed in after this date are not guaranteed to be reviewed by the board before Winter Break and will be reviewed at the start of the spring semester.