By Heather Monahan
Features Assignment Editor
Students aren’t always the only ones who get to rock the Reilly Center at St. Bonaventure. In the past, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) has brought artists such as Bruce Springsteen, the Goo Goo Dolls and Sean Kingston to campus for a Spring Concert. However, due to lower enrollment in the freshman class this year, Bonaventure will not be bringing any stars to the stage in the Reilly Center.
“I saw headlines saying budgets were cut and that’s not correct,” said Steve Kuchera, assistant director of the Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership. “Each undergraduate student pays a student activity fee. That’s based on enrollment, so if enrollment is up, there’s more money. If enrollment is down, there’s less money.”
Kuchera and members of CAB said they were concerned with rumors going around after Tuesday night’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting.
“The university didn’t cut our budgets, enrollment cut the budget,” Kuchera said. “So we are not receiving as much as we normally would if enrollment was up.”
The gossip going around campus before the SGA meeting was how most students found out about not having a concert.
“I heard rumors a while ago but nobody really knew what was going on,” Jeanette Dietrich, a junior journalism and mass communication major, said. “After the SGA meeting (Tuesday) night, everyone started tweeting about it, which is how I actually found out.”
Christiana Eckel, a senior education major and president of CAB, said its limited budget forced the group to contemplate the status of the concert.
“In the fall we contemplated looking at smaller acts, but it seemed like it was the best choice (to cut it),” Eckel said. “We don’t want to spend all our money on something and then have nothing to roll over to next semester.”
Kuchera also mentioned how much CAB has to pay for that may not be obvious to students.
“A lot goes into Spring Weekend with tables, chairs and rental equipment for food services,” he said. “Even for a concert, you have a performer and their fee. On top of that, you have the sound, stage, lights, security, sheriff, food, floor cover and we have to rent the Reilly Center as well.”
While students have been provided with a Spring Concert the past three years, having an artist come to Bonaventure is not something that students are entitled to every year.
Eckel said not many students realize that concerts aren’t guaranteed events.
“I was a freshman when Sean Kingston was here and I’m a senior now,” Eckel said. “We didn’t know that because we’ve had a concert every year, so that’s our expectation as seniors.”
While the announcement of no visiting artist may have come as a shock to current students who have attended past concerts, this isn’t the first time Bonaventure hasn’t had one.
“There’s a big misconception that we have a concert every year,” said Josh Maxey, junior political science major and vice president of CAB. “Sean Kingston, who came in 2010, was the first concert we had in like four years probably.”
CAB also has to keep in mind the price of tickets and finding an act that’s appealing to everyone.
“People put on Facebook and Twitter that they would have paid $40 to see a good performer,” Emily Haas, a junior English major and CAB secretary, said. “But the student surveys have told us time and time again that they won’t pay that much money.”
Without the cost of bringing an expensive performing artist to campus this year, CAB is putting extra money toward Spring Weekend. On Friday, students will have access to a photo booth, large slide, obstacle course, mechanical bull and a velcro wall. On Saturday, the photo booth will be replaced by a fully functioning zip-line running from two pillars.
“We’ve never had that many inflatables and we’ve never spent that much money,” Eckel said. “We’re spending $4,000 more than we ever have and we’ve never had a zip-line. That’s something I think a lot of students are excited about.”
While students are disappointed with no concert to look forward to, senior journalism and mass communication major Samantha Kauffman said she understands for the most part.
“We (seniors) shouldn’t be punished for low enrollment and I think every class should be allowed to have a concert,” Kauffman said. “However, I can understand how the school can’t put the funds together because we’re small and just don’t have the money.”
Kauffman said she believes the size of Bonaventure makes it difficult to get well-known acts to perform here.
“As much as I would want a concert, I understand,” Kauffman said. “Spring Weekend and the concert are privileges and not rights.”
Kuchera mentioned even with higher enrollment, concerts are not always guaranteed because CAB has multiple expenses to focus on.
Dietrich admitted she was also upset with the thought of not having a concert but doesn’t blame the university. She mentioned how potentially seeing her peers perform helps a bit.
“We all know there isn’t a whole lot to do in this area, so a concert would be a highlight for all the students to get someone cool coming to Bona’s,” Dietrich said. “But I’m glad that we’ll have some Bona students performing. This way, we at least have some entertainment. I’m excited about it!”