The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) amended the Concert Committee bylaws on Sunday to allow email approval of booking over academic breaks and to permit concert-funding approval over the summer. Discussion of the bylaws was prompted by controversy over the booking of this month’s Matisyahu and Chiddy Bang concert.
“We knew even before the Matisyahu concert that there were things we wanted to change,” said Concert Committee Member Chelsie Green ’14. “[These included] making the committee more accessible to everyone, so everyone knows they could book a show and that we are supportive of all genres and everything.”
In the past, students who wished to book shows over the summer were unable to apply for Concert Committee funding because the full committee does not convene until the beginning of the fall semester.
“The first month of the year, we don’t have many shows, especially because people can’t send offers to booking agents over the summer, because the committee couldn’t discuss it over the summer,” Green said. “So we wanted to make it available for certain people who have done a show before, so we know they can handle the responsibility of dealing with booking over the summer.”
The proposal was amended so that the Student Budget Committee (SBC) Chair would serve as an interim Concert Committee member during the summer, along with the Concert Committee Chair and one member appointed in the spring. The vote passed 14 to 0, with no members abstaining.
In discussions of the bylaws, concert bookers expressed frustration that they were unable to receive approval for shows between weekly meetings. As a possible solution, the Concert Committee proposed that the group be permitted to approve funds via email.
The WSA amended this proposal due to concerns about lack of oversight. The modified bylaw allows allocation of funds via email only during breaks. The amended measure passed with a vote of 16 to 0, with 1 abstaining.
“I feel like everyone on the Committee that I’ve spoken with since is pretty happy,” Green said. “Pretty much everything went through as we hoped it would. We just want to make it better and more accessible, and really we’re just adding more responsibilities and time we’re going to have to commit.”
Additionally, according to the modified bylaws, the Concert Committee may book shows over the summer using any surplus funds from the previous year, as well as up to 12.5 percent of the next year’s budget. The Concert Committee’s budget is determined annually by the SBC Chair. For the 2010-2011 year, the Concert Committee was allotted $84,000 of the Student Activities Fee to distribute to student groups for booking concerts.