Cancellation explained

KSPU station manager Tyler Santoro came before student senate Monday night to read an apology for the cancelation of the Aqueduct concert.

The concert, planned by Lingua and KSPU, was originally scheduled for Feb. 16. It was cancelled the Thursday before due to low ticket sales, Santoro said in senate.

“I would like to recognize and apologize for the irresponsible and unprofessional actions which KSPU has taken part of regarding the Lingua/KSPU concert,” Santoro said, speaking on behalf of KSPU. “I deeply regret and acknowledge that the lack of organization and planning for this event and the inappropriate manner in which the proposal was brought before senate is completely unacceptable. There is no excuse or justification to be given for these actions.”

Planning for the concert began two weeks before the set date when Lingua editor-in-chief Andrew Reis signed a contract with Aqueduct and called Conference Services to place a hold on Upper Gwinn, the planned venue.

Because the concert was built into the Lingua budget at the beginning of the year, ASSP found out about it only after Conference Services called the Office of Student Life to verify information, said Kellie Hicks, vice president of campus activities, in an interview.

Since students do not have the administrative authority to sign contracts and since there were certain problems with the desired insurance coverage, the contract had to be renegotiated, said Jordana Ross, risk management and insurance specialist, in an interview.

According to the SPU Finance and Budget Web site, contracts usually require one month for review before official approval can be given. The Aqueduct contract was renegotiated within three days, Ross said.

While last year’s Lingua editor-in-chief had been accessible, Reis did not fully know how expansive the process of planning a concert is, he said in an interview.

A little more than one week prior to the concert, Reis asked Finance Board for an additional $1,000 for sound equipment and other items that would be needed to make the concert a success, he said in the interview.

Finance Board cut the proposal cost down to $830, and after adding a large number of stipulations, passed the proposal with one dissenting vote.

At the time, Lingua already had $3,000 allocated toward the event in its annual budget, ASSP president Daniel Miller said. The expected revenue, based on last year’s Lingua concert with Rocky Votolato, was $2,500, he said. At $8 per ticket, the anticipated revenue would require approximately 300 ticket sales. While ASSP had agreed to cover the difference, the projected coverage was around $500, Miller said.

When senate passed the proposal on the following Monday, it did so under the impression that about 30 tickets had been sold, Miller said.

That number turned out to be inaccurate, as, in fact, only three tickets had been sold when the proposal came before senate, Reis said. He said that he had accidentally confused the list of bus ticket sales in the ASSP office with the list of ticket sales for the concert and had notified Miller of this mistake later during the week.

After selling tickets in front of Gwinn Commons and going door to door through all the dorms, members of KSPU and Lingua realized that, at most, only 70 tickets would be sold, Justin Rusk, Lingua’s publicist, said in an interview.

The main reason for the low ticket sales was that the concert was scheduled during a long weekend and that students would not be on campus, Santoro said. This concern had been raised in senate prior to the proposal vote.

The cost of cancelling the concert, which included a $2,000 fee for Aqueduct and a $100 reservation fee for Upper Gwinn, as well as the money spent on publicity, was still less than the cost that putting on the concert would have been, Rusk said in an interview. Canceling the concert was the fiscally responsible thing to do, he and Reis said.

When Reis contacted Miller on the morning of Feb. 14, he proposed that part of the money be taken out of his personal stipend.

“I felt that this was a way to take responsibility for what happened,” Reis said. “It’s inexcusable to have this amount of money to go towards something that did not happen.”

Miller sent an e-mail out on behalf of Lingua and KSPU announcing that the concert was cancelled and that tickets would be reimbursed.

Prior to the all-campus announcement, he also sent an e-mail out to senators, which stated that there was a “lack of debate and preparation that went into making this decision, on the part of Finance Board, Senate, and KSPU/Lingua” in regards to the earlier passing of the proposal.

While no representatives from Lingua were present during this week’s senate, Reis said in an interview on Tuesday that he would be coming before senate in the near future.

Reis said that he has been dialoguing with ASSP vice president of finance Joel VanderHoek about the possibility of paying the money back through his stipend and wanted to be able to give senate a clear statement on the matter.

Santoro emphasized in his apology that the concert cancellation had not only made him evaluate the events that led up to it, but also think about the function of KSPU as an organization.

Following a couple of questions posed by senators on Monday, commuter senator Cory Deppe thanked Santoro for coming before senate and reading the apology. Deppe advocated evaluation and reflection as well.

“Maybe we were a little bit hasty earlier as Finance Board, ASSP body and senate as a whole,” he said. “It’s important for us to take time to deliberate and look through things….”

In other business:

– After a lengthy debate, senate also passed a proposal to give $1,600 toward Fundisha, an event planned by the Africa United club. According to the proposal, the event, which will involve an authentic African dinner, will be held at the end of winter quarter to “illustrate how SPU students can use their areas of study to affect change overseas.”

-Senate passed a $2,973.42 proposal to fund Resurrection Week. Formerly known as Celebration Week, the event is constitutionally required and designed to focus on the resurrection of Jesus, vice president of campus ministries Charlie Beck said in a Monday interview.

Though incorporated into the ASSP vice president of ministries budget in the past, the original $2,600 was cut at the beginning of the year so as to clarify expenses better for a re-proposal, Beck said at senate.

The money will go toward two “feast tables,” a “Resurrection dance party,” publicity, a movie night, a prayer labyrinth and musicians, according to the proposal.

-Faculty senate met yesterday to discuss the doctorate program for the School of Education, faculty chair Kathryn Bartholomew said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. Additionally, faculty senate voted for the Budget and Stewardship Committee, the equivalent of the student budget committee, to meet year round, she said. Vice president Les Steele also visited faculty senate for conversation, she said.

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Title: Cancellation explained | Author: Evi Sztajno | Section: News | Published Date: 2008-03-05 | Internal ID: 6371