Tomorrow, Frontier Fiesta kicks off — but it might be a rocky start, since this year, the Student Program Boards request of $281,930.00 for concert funds was denied by the Student Fees Advisory Committee.
In return, an alternative method was implemented for funding concerts: SPB, Homecoming and Frontier Fiesta were given a $100,000 concert fund to share.
“Drastically reducing our budget allotment for concerts was not a difficult decision. The pooling of funds was a creative compromise that was the product of several days of deliberation,” said SFAC Chair Nathan Alsbrooks.
Alsbrooks said that when comparing requests for concerts alongside real issues affecting students’ lives, it was obvious to the committee that they couldn’t afford the concert proposals. He said that any additional funding of concerts would have necessitated raising the student service fee which is currently at $250 per student since 2014.
“We chose to allow students to keep their money,” Alsbrooks said.
This new method has set many limitations on SPB for the concerts this year at Frontier Fiesta. In the past, each of the three organizations would have been given their own individual budget and they each would have put on a separate concert at Frontier Fiesta.
SPB president Melisa Jinks said that the amount the pool provides each organization is very low in comparison to previous years resulting in the three organizations deciding to combine their shares and ultimately host only one concert together.
“We knew we couldn’t bring three (concerts) with that unless we were to bring someone local who wasn’t really recognized and we knew that’s not what students wanted and were looking forward to so we decided to just do one concert because that’s all we can afford,” Jinks said.
Some students are not so happy with this change.
“I like the variety they usually have. They always get a rap performer and I don’t listen to rap. I was always glad they had options of different genres each year,” said Melissa Hernandez, a chemistry senior.
Jinks said that they are doing everything they can to please the majority of students.
“We have a survey that goes out … and every year there’s always a really large portion that vote for rap so we’re really inclined to select a rap artist even though the biggest complaint we get is that we always get a rap artist but that’s who we vote for every year and I kind of have to do what the majority of the school wants” Jinks said.
The said survey allows students to vote on which genre of music they want to see performed at Frontier Fiesta and then SPB goes through a list of artists they can afford in that genre and with the budget cuts they were faced with a choice of an up and coming artist, someone local or someone dated who hasn’t put out much music lately.
This year they chose platinum selling rap duo, Rae Sremmurd.
Despite the struggles SPB is dealing with, there are still many students who are very pleased with their choice. Psychology senior, Amber Walls, said that the headliners they chose has increased her desire to attend Frontier Fiesta this year.
“I’m excited they picked Rae Sremmurd, they have a lot of popular songs and I feel like I could never afford to go to one of their concerts on my own so that I’m given a chance to go to it for free is awesome,” Walls said.
Another positive is that this year, unlike last, the concert will be outside, allowing students to get up close and personal to the artists.
This year there will be no “awkward distance between those in the stands and the stage,” said Jinks.
It’s clear to see that despite new challenges, the Student Program Board is still doing its best to provide students with the best concert experience they can.
“(SPB’s) commitment and school spirit will never change, even though their one-time funding was restrained,” Alsbrook said.