SA Launches Investigation Of Concert ‘Disappointments’
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 02:09
Four days after the 2013 Fall Concert, Isaac Akers, senator, rules committee chairman, and A&S ’16, and Thomas Napoli, senator, institutional policy review vice-chairman, and A&S ’16, sponsored a resolution in the Student Assembly (SA) to establish a “2013 Fall Concert Fact-Finding Committee” (FCFFC) to investigate the Fall Concert. After being debated by the SA, the bill passed with 23 out of the 32 senators in attendance voting in favor.
The resolution cites the low attendance at the concert as one of the ways that the concert “fell short of expectations.” Since the concert is not funded entirely out of the UGBC budget, but is also funded partially by ticket sales, the resolution also noted, “the low revenue for the UGBC Fall Concert translates directly into a budget predicament for UGBC.” Due to these concerns, the committee has stated that it will “investigate the disappointments of the 2013 Fall Concert.”
According to the resolution, the final goal of the hearings conducted by the FCFFC is to submit a report to the SA and the public containing a summary of what happened regarding the Fall Concert this year and recommendations to the Executive Council for planning concerts in the future. To this end, the resolution called for the subpoenaing of Matt Nacier, UGBC president and A&S ’14; Matt Alonsozana, UGBC executive vice president and A&S ’14; Braeden Lord, Executive Council aide-de-camp and A&S ’15; Denise Pyfrom, vice president of programming and A&S ’14; Tim Koch, co-coordinator of concerts and A&S ’14; Melanie MacLellan, manager of on-campus programming and A&S ’14; and Michael Warren, co-coordinator of concerts and CSOM ’16.
They will be required to provide written testimony regarding their “involvement in and knowledge of the planning and execution of the 2013 Fall Concert.” After the testimony is submitted this Saturday, a closed hearing will be held the following week.
Both of the resolution’s sponsors, Akers and Napoli, emphasized to the SA before debate began that there needed to be an analysis of what happened, an admission of mistakes, and recommendations for the future.
After debate opened on the floor, several senators questioned the sponsors, as well as Nacier and Pyfrom.
Nate Schlein, senator and A&S ’14, asked about the necessity and the formality of the hearing process. Shalin Mehta, senator and CSOM ’16, questioned the qualifications of the committee members to give a formal recommendation and also questioned the necessity of the hearing. Alex Sarabia, senator, co-sponsor of the resolution, and A&S ’14, expressed that he was originally hesitant, but decided that the hearing would be beneficial.
MacLellan recognized that it was important to review events after they concluded and expressed her willingness to meet with anyone who had questions, but didn’t believe that a hearing was necessary.
In response to MacLellan’s comments, Ryan Polischuk, senator, co-sponsor of the resolution, and A&S ’14, stressed that the external review played an important role in understanding an event after the fact.
“We can have two different kinds of reviews, which are internal and external … these are not mutually exclusive,” Polischuk said. “A robust internal review is very good—that is not to say that the Student Assembly should not have its own external review process from a different perspective. We want this to be a matter for the public record and for institutional history.”
Nacier and Pyfrom also commented on the resolution.
“I hope that this is done very respectfully,” Pyfrom said. “My team put in a lot of effort. Other than the number of tickets sold, this event was a success.”
“It is good that we bring this up for discussion,” Nacier said. “The UGBC of yesteryear would never have done this. We are at the point where we are taking ourselves more seriously. I commend you for holding us all accountable. The success of an event is not necessarily dependent on the number of people who show up. The question of the event is not necessarily the event itself, but rather what are the budgetary effects.”
Nacier also criticized some of the language in the resolution, specifically the description of the FCFFC’s duties to investigate the “disappointments of the Fall Concert.” He suggested that instead the FCFFC should look into both the successes and the failures of the Fall Concert.