Because of a budget increase decision made by the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) on Nov. 20, 2016, the Student Committee of Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) will be receiving $25,750 from SAFC next year. According to SAFC Chairman Jake Adams, SCOPE’s budget changed from $178,420 to $204,170 is an increase of 14.43 percent.
SCOPE Business Manager Brian Ellis said that originally there was only a small decrease of roughly .98 percent for next year. Ellis however noted that University System Student Board Representative Lincoln Crutchfield fought for an increased budget when the original budget was brought to Student Senate in the SAFC meeting. The new budget was passed unanimously during the meeting on Nov. 20, 2016..
“In discussing what it would take to put SCOPE in the next bracket of artist quality, we realized that we could make that happen without driving up costs for students,” Crutchfield said. “In bringing larger artists we can meet students’ desires and maximize attendance to shows, thus improving the benefit to the overall student body.”
Crutchfield said that they were able to lower the overall SAFC budget while increasing SCOPE’s purchasing power. According to Crutchfield, it was important to increase the SCOPE budget for the purpose of building their purchasing power, without increasing the student activity fee. He noted that it was a rare opportunity.
“We are really focusing on how the students’ tastes are evolving and what they’re looking for in the large name artists and the higher caliber artists,” SCOPE Executive Director Aren Salmela said. “The only way to do that is to increase our artist fee. That’s essentially what Student Senate did in their final passing of the budget.”
The budget allows SCOPE to possibly put on two shows at the Whittemore center, and one at the Field House for a smaller genre or smaller name artist.
“We are pretty happy about it and we weren’t expecting it,” Salmela said. “We were trying to be a bit conservative with our plus or minus percent going into SAFC. It’s great to see Student Senate and the students backing us up and really wanting to see us bring the biggest thing possible.”
Adams said that SCOPE will comprise 18 percent of the SAFC budget of roughly $1.2 million. Adams stated that SCOPE was one of three student organizations with budget increases for next year. The other organizations were The New Hampshire and the Campus Activities Board.