Student Activities Council (SAC)’s recent budget increase of $30,320 will allow the organization to continue to hold free, on-campus events, which would have otherwise seen significant cut-backs.
SAC will now be able to put on 12 Saturday Night Spotlight (SNS) events next semester, as well comedians, magicians and illusionists to come to campus in January, February, March and April of next semester.
In Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 17), SAC had a total beginning budget of $99,328. For FY 18, the budget that they were given was $85,000, a $14,328 cut.
The SAC E-Board started the supplemental budget request in the beginning of September, and submitted it in October. It was then approved during the Nov. 13 SGA meeting.
If the supplemental budget request was not approved, the SAC E-Board reported that they would then meet and come up with a plan of action, potentially shifting the money from other chairs’ budgets.
Without the additional money, the starting Comedy Stop budget for the spring semester would have been $0.
Jordan DeGaetano, Comedy Stop chair, booked the first comedian of the year for $1,500, not including travel expenses. The Comedy Stop budget for FY 18, before the budget increase, was $4,000.
Most comedians cost around $2,000, not including hotel and travel fees.
For a second comedian, DeGaetano booked Jessi Campbell, who cost roughly $2,000-$2,500 to book.
“If we didn’t get the money, I wouldn’t have had any budget left,” DeGaetano said.
With the increased budget, however, DeGaetano is now able to four comedians, illusionists and magicians. She also has just booked illusionist Eric Wilzig, who performed last year at the College.
For Traditions, the remaining budget of Oct. 1, before the request was approved, was $6,288. Last year, Spring Fest cost $6,777 and without the additional money, Traditions would have not been able to put on “Blue Plate Specials” each month.
One of the chairs that would have been affected significantly without the budget increase is Saturday Night Spotlights (SNS), which puts on free, on-campus events every Saturday night open to all students. SNS needed about $16,320 of the $30,320 in order to put on 12 events next semester.
However, one event that was budgeted for in advance, before the request, was Barn Babies, an event in which students are able to interact with young farm animals. Last semester, nine of the SAC E-Board members each reached out to about 30 students, asking them what event they would most want to see return from SAC. According to Esposito, a majority of the students responded that they wished to see Barn Babies make a return.
Esposito, who is also a Senior Admissions Ambassador, reported that one of the most common questions she receives from prospective students and parents is what there is to do on-campus for fun for students. She said that she always answers by recommending SAC events.
“One of the goals on Saturday night events is to have an alternative to going out on the weekends and having the opportunity for students to do something on Saturday nights,” Esposito said. “It’s all about recruitment and retention, we want to recruit the students to stay here at MCLA, but we also want to retain them and we retain them by having these Saturday night events where they’re not sitting in their dorms.”
SAC reported that they hope to co-sponsor more frequently with other clubs, not for financial reasons, but rather to collaborate with other student groups and to “get their names out there.”
Esposito reported that her goals for SAC this year are to focus on creative advertising strategies, triple event attendance and to ensure that members are prioritizing academics by teaching and emphasizing time management skills.
In addition, Esposito also reported that another one of her goals for the next semester is to educate the MCLA community on SAC’s purpose, goals and roles on campus.
In the SAC office on the third floor of the Amsler Campus Center, there is a whiteboard in which the events next semester are scheduled and planned out, with a few tentative dates.
On Monday, SAC will hold Late Night Breakfast, a returning event. On Friday, there will be free massages in Sullivan Lounge from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The first SNS event of next semester will be held on Jan. 20, and SNS and Comedy Stop will be teaming up for an event on Jan. 27. In addition, on Jan. 28, there will be a Destinations event in which students will have the opportunity to go snow tubing. On Feb. 3, there will be another Destinations event to a Boston Bruins game.
Events such as Barn Babies and the spring concert are TBD and will be announced to students. All SAC events are free and open to all MCLA students.