Updated: USG Annual Report Shows $22,500 cost of Silent Disco
In his final email as USG president, Bruce Easop ’13 released the USG’s annual report for 2012 on Feb. 3. The report detailed the initiatives and events of the past year, including Microsoft’s contribution of $20,000 to fall Lawnparties and the $22,500 cost of the Silent Disco.
To supplement its $350,000 annual budget, the USG accepted outside funding by allowing Microsoft to demo its products at a booth during Lawnparties. In return, Microsoft contributed $20,000, which allowed the USG to spend that money on other social events.
The funds contributed by Microsoft offset the Dean’s Date Silent Disco that the USG hosted on Jan. 15. The event featured the Swedish artist Basshunter as DJ and cost about $22,500, or less than $10 per attendee.
Easop praised USG social chair Benedict Wagstaff ’14 for the idea to seek outside funding for social events.
“Benny has done a great job this year in trying to create innovative new events on campus and develop more sustainable models for those events,” Easop said. “One aspect of doing that this year was seeking outside partnerships, and it will fall to the next social chair to determine if she would like to pursue that.”
Wagstaff explained that, while the Silent Disco was funded by the USG social account, the Microsoft sponsorship contribution helped make the Basshunter event possible by keeping the account “very much in the green.”
“When we felt that it was a feasible option and opportunity and was allowed within the framework of the university, we started to consider it as a more useful form of funding,” Wagstaff said of the sponsorship. “It really is just a supplement to the existing budget, and as long as the contribution and interaction between the outside source and the student is positive and doesn’t take away from the event itself, it’s something that we were interested in.”
According to the report, 40 percent of the $350,000 total operating budget was devoted to social affairs.
The 2012 budget exceeded the 2011 budget by about $15,000 and the 2010 budget by $29,000. Easop credited this growth to an increase in student attendance and a larger student body.
Over 85 percent of this year’s budget increase was used to fund social events, but Easop noted that this was due to a simple reallocation of the budget. When the USG found that there was a higher attendance rate for fall events, it shifted $10,000 from the spring to the fall budget.
“For my particular term, it is an increase, but if you look at the budget over the course of the school year, it’s really just a shift in the timing in which that funding is spent,” Easop said. “In particular, some of the money that came from an increase in the student body went to the projects board, so it went directly into student groups.”
The report also described the USG’s most important projects, including its involvement in forming the Presidential Search Committee, arranging the 2012 Bonfire, gathering Bonfire proceeds for the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and expanding the TalktoUSG YouTube account.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article misstated a portion of a quotation by former USG president Bruce Easop ’13. The quote should have read: “One aspect of doing that this year was seeking outside partnerships, and it will fall to the next social chair to determine if she would like to pursue that.”