Last year, the Colorado College Student Government Association awarded the Llamapalooza Committee $33,000 to fund their signature CC event. According to the CCSGA meeting minutes from Feb. 26, this year’s Llamapalooza was initially only granted $3,700.
The Llama Committee will now have to solicit other administrative offices and groups in order to fund the music festival.
“The quality of Llamapalooza this year will suffer as a result of funding. It’s been stripped down just to keep it within the budget,” Jitu Virasi, co-chair of this year’s Llama Committee, said.
Under the leadership of last year’s Finance Committee VP, Logan Dahl, who graduated last spring, CCSGA depleted most of the reserve accounts. Overspending caused discrepancies in this year’s club and event funding, calling for administrative funding assistance.
Since CCSGA spent nearly $180,000 last year on special events, this year the student government was feeling the pressure of a special event budget downsized to roughly $40,000.
Despite the setback of budget difficulties at the beginning of this year due to last year’s student-run administration, CCSGA was able to support Llamapalooza by requesting more funds from Dean of Students Mike Edmonds.
“No, I do not feel that CCSGA gave us enough money, but it wasn’t really in their hands,” Virasi said. “I think a lot of people had mismanaged expectations. A lot of people assumed the money was going to come from somewhere at the end of the day.”
CCSGA officials see it differently.
“The CCSGA has certainly encountered budgetary woes this year, and as a result we have been unable to give the Llama Committee everything they asked for,” Pat Knecht, executive vice president, said. “This was made very clear early in the year. The Llama Committee completely disregarded this issue, and made little effort to seek alternative funding. In doing so, they are deferring their responsibility to fund the event. They simply assumed that the money would fall into place eventually.”
By disregarding the budgeting problems, the committee strained administrative offices that become responsible for Llama funding, Knecht said.
“Llama implicitly supports the drug culture on campus,” Knecht said. “Is this something we are ok with as an institution? Do we want the President’s Office and the Dean of Student’s office to be associated with this event, given that it is arguably unhealthy and runs counter to several of the schools core values?”
According to Varanasi, the Llamapalooza Committee planned this year’s event based on last year’s funding. When the funding didn’t come, the committee had to seek other ways to raise money.
“The original amount was low because CCSGA was on the verge of running out of money and decided that the Llamapalooza Committee should look for other sources of funding before CCSGA gave them a larger sum,” Vice President for finance, senior Stanley Sigalov, said.
Edmonds has provided $15,000 of additional funds to add to the CCSGA’s originally allocated $3,700, thus raising the Llamapalooza’s budget to $18,700.
“The $15,000 was given to the Llamapalooza Committee after Mike Edmonds turned the money from the contingency account ($30,000) from the Student Activities Fee budget allocation over to the CCSGA,” Sigalov said.
Despite the budget concerns, the Llama Committee is still confident this year’s event will live up to student expectations.
“At the end of the day, I still think it’s going to be a great festival,” Varanasi said.
In addition to the $18,700 allocated to Llamapalooza by the CCSGA, there is additional funding that comes from t-shirt and alcohol sales.
“I think CCSGA just assumed that the money would eventually come from somewhere,” Varanasi said. “I know they’re trying to make the campus more fun with more events, but I think they spent too much too fast.”
After all is said and done, the budget should be reconciled to what it was in years past.
“The budget for Llama in the past three years has totaled approximately $85,000. As of now, the total budget for this year is uncertain, but since the majority of costs are fixed, it should not fluctuate by much from years past,” Sigalov said.
“Essentially, the administration had to bail us out. But at the end of the day, the CCSGA were the ones rallying to do something about it,” Varanasi said.
The process for funding Llama has always been complicated and also raised problems in the past.
“Llama is planned in an illogical and backwards manner,” said Pat Knecht, Executive VP. “The event is planned without regards to a budget. Once the Llama Committee has planned the event, they figure how much it will cost, and then seek out the money. We are currently trying to figure out a way to reverse this trend, and give the committee a budget first, so they can plan the event with regards to the budget.”