Broadbent calls for ACPB funding cut

Jessica Rothschuh

“So, where’s the fair?” Sen. Bill Ross asked Executive Director Gary Broadbent when they entered the Student Center Ballroom last night to attend the Psychic Fair, sponsored by All Campus Programming Board.

“Where are the psychics?” Broadbent asked.

About 35 people sat in a cluster of chairs in the evening’s waning sunlight, awaiting a chance to meet with a clairvoyant, handwriting analyst, medium or tarot card reader.

Broadbent raised questions about ACPB’s use of student money at last week’s senate meeting. He said ACPB was hosting programs that drew too few students for the amount of money the group spent.

Ross and Broadbent were directed upstairs, where four performers met individually with students. They watched a student and psychic for a few seconds before being asked to leave.

“Please just go downstairs,” a man told them.

Broadbent mumbled that he must be distracting from the “whole psychic process.”

The two senators left because they didn’t have time to wait in the line.

“As of right now, no one has waited longer than an hour,” ACPB House Chair Ryan Wilkins said. “The rate it’s moving has been about 20 to 25 (students) an hour.”

Wilkins said students would be turned away at about 7 p.m. in order to make sure all those who had been waiting would get a turn to meet a psychic.

“Fifteen-hundred dollars down the drain,” Ross said as he entered the USS office.

Broadbent shook his head.

“Eighteen-hundred,” Broadbent said.

At 25 students an hour, the program would have spent $14 per student in attendance.

Broadbent’s proposal is to cut ACPB’s funding by about 25 percent, which would give ACPB 40 percent of the senate’s budget instead of the 54 percent it currently receives. This would give ACPB $210,000 for programming and the remainder to the Allocations Committee.

ACPB used to request funds from the Allocations Committee for programming, Broadbent said. This changed a few years ago because ACPB couldn’t sign larger performers’ contracts quickly enough to request funds by the Allocations Committee’s deadline.

“But now, they do very few large programs,” Broadbent said.

He named some of ACPB’s programs that he said were not successful, such as the Coach Carter and J.L. King programs.

“These are not the kind of programs that need the ability to have contracts signed quickly,” Broadbent said. “I don’t think that we should provide blanket funding to ACPB to do those small programs.”

The cut in funding would still give ACPB enough money to host FlashFest, Blast-Off and a big concert, and leave $10,000 to $15,000 for discretionary income, Broadbent said.

“ACPB has done no empirical research on what kind of programs our students want to attend,” Broadbent said. “Something needs to be done.”

Contact student politics reporter Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].