USS: Third Eye Blind concert worth every penny of $67,000

Jenna Staul

Senate readjusts budget to bring band to campus

Correction: The below story has been amended. Mike Hammond, senator for research and development, was misidentified.

Undergraduate Student Senate will spend $67,000 in estimated total costs to put on tomorrow’s Third Eye Blind concert, according to USS executive director Katie Hale.

The contract for the concert, signed by Third Eye Blind manager Eric Godtland on Feb. 1, said USS will pay the band a $40,000 flat fee to perform. Additional costs, including security, insurance, set up and advertising are not yet finalized, Hale said.

Hale said she feels the price is well worth bringing a concert to Kent State students.

“They are one of the biggest college bands touring,” Hale said. “We wanted something Kent State students would enjoy, but we had to work within the constraints of our budget.”

In June, USS voted to spend $50,000 to bring a speaker to campus, but after time and budget limitations prevented that, the group opted to change its budget to accommodate a concert.

John Wetmore, senator for governmental affairs, wouldn’t say who the group was originally pursuing to speak.

“All I can say is it was a five-star speaker who was well respected and well qualified,” Wetmore said.

USS does not have to take a vote on expenses within its operating budget, which enables it to alter its budget at its own discretion for events such as the concert, Hale said. The operating budget is raised through the Student Activity Fee paid for by students each semester with tuition.

“Originally, we didn’t anticipate spending over the $50,000,” said Hale. “But we went back in the budget and shifted things around. We thought, do we want to not do this because we might come up short? The students deserve a good concert.”

After the initial vote on the overall budget, changes can be made at anytime without a vote, Hale said. The budget also does not have to be discussed on record at public meetings.

“It’s not that we’re keeping it from them (the student body),” Hale said. “We just don’t discuss it. If a student wanted to know where their money actually went, I would tell them. I would love that level of participation.”

Hale said the group chooses to not discuss possible speaking engagements or performances that are not yet finalized at public meetings for legal and contractual reasons.

“We accomplished this through an internal process,” Hale said.

The All-Campus Programming Board is a mandated co-sponsor of the concert because the event’s costs exceed $30,000, said ACPB president Colleen Burch.

ACPB will provide assistance with stage set-up and band hospitality. They will also lend USS $10,000 in case concert expenses exceed estimated costs, Hale said.

“We had a lot of discussions about it with ACPB,” Hale said. “ACPB did not want to contribute. But in general, both groups are happy to put their differences aside to put on the concert.”

Mike Hammond, senator for research and development, said USS’s intent was simply to provide a quality concert to Kent State students.

“The doors close quickly — good entertainment and good speakers are in high demand,” said Hammond. “We just wanted to do something good for the students.”

Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected].