The Student Budget Committee (SBC) allocated $80,000 to the Spring Fling Committee this year, the largest sum the Committee has received in at least the past five years, according to Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development Elisa Cardona.
In 2011, the Committee was granted about $60,000. The decision to increase the budget for Spring Fling came as a result of what some students considered to be a disappointing concert last spring.
“Last year there was a lot of student dismay over Spring Fling,” SBC Chair and Treasurer of the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) Nicole Brenner ’15 said. “People weren’t really all that excited about it, and it ended up being a wash because of the weather.”
According to Spring Fling Committee Co-Chair Dylan Bostick ’13, the committee did not receive as much funding as it needed last year to secure a well-known and highly-anticipated performer.
“We asked for more money because we didn’t think we’d had enough last year, but also looking at our peer institutions, we kind of figured out where we were relative to the other NESCAC schools and argued our case for a higher budget,” Bostick said.
Bostick explained that each year, roughly $15,000 of the total budget is spent on utilities, such as staging, fencing, lighting, bathrooms, and security. He said that a minimum of $50,000 is needed to book most widely known performers.
“Last year, with a starting budget of $45,000 [after utility fees], we couldn’t get any name-recognizable artists, which is why we decided to go with four smaller acts,” Bostick said. “This year, we’ll probably return to three acts, with one bigger headliner.”
The Spring Fling Committee is hoping to use the additional $20,000 to secure a headliner that will excite students.
“I definitely think we’ll be getting somebody that most people know,” Bostick said. “That’s the goal this year. We want somebody excellent, talented, exciting, and energetic.”
According to Brenner, a successful Spring Fling is important for the University as well as for students. This consideration factored into the ultimate decision to grant the committee more funding.
“[Spring Fling] is a reason why people come to campus,” Brenner said. “Part of my goal as a member of the SBC is to fund things that bring people to campus, that give Wesleyan a name, something that makes people excited to come here, to apply here, to be here.”
Brenner explained that SBC funding for Spring Fling is taken from the Student Activities Fund, a fund to which each student contributes $271 each year. With $20,000 more going to Spring Fling than last year, some student groups did not receive as much funding as they have in the past. However, Brenner says that, because of sources like the surplus collected from student groups in the spring, damage has been minimized.
“It’s always hard,” Brenner said. “All student groups have really great ideas of what they want to do, and it’s really difficult to not be able to fully fund people. We’re trying really hard to make sure everyone gets a fair number.”
Bostick feels that Spring Fling is a worthy recipient of this increased funding.
“It’s the one activity that all students can attend on one day,” Bostick said.