March 17, 2023 | FEATURES | By Jess Duran and Alexis Cornachio
Twenty two events have been funded through the Colorado College Student Government Association Special Events Funding this academic year: 12 events this semester and 11 last fall, Vice President of Finance Addi Schwieterman ’24 told The Catalyst.
Some of these events include the Godzilla Watch-a-Thon, Sounds of Colorado College’s Battle of the Bands competition, and Cooking Around the World classes.
For every student’s tuition, a portion is allocated to go towards the Student Activity Fund. This funds student events on campus each year.
Students and organizations can apply for money from a total of $88,000 each year.
Individuals or groups that want to receive some of this funding must apply via a Google Form created by CCSGA. Once approved, they will meet with the finance committee and pitch their event. If the five-person committee likes the idea, it’s approved.
CCSGA also works closely with the Student Events Summit, an administrative committee. Event planners must go to the Summit and request funding here as well.
“It was even intimidating for me,” said Ben Greenly ‘23 who is a member of the committee and just recently hosted the Godzilla Watch-a-Thon. Greenly said that although he had established relations with members of the Summit, “it’s always intimidating asking for special events funding,” because you must be very knowledgeable on what you need, what you can supply yourself, and the limitations for what you can request.
Student government leaders accept applications on a rolling basis, considering and accepting new applications every week.
“They have given out $15,000 of their $80,000,” said director of Campus Activities Amy Hill, “with $60,000 of applications left to consider.”
While they could approve all current requests and have $5,000 left, they would only have that small sum of money to fund any events that might be proposed in the next three blocks.
This increase in funding requests for student government can be attributed to fading prominence of the pandemic.
COVID-19 was a hindrance to events on campus, placing many rules and restrictions on the types of gatherings permitted. Vaccination requirements, capacity limits, and open-air flow were necessary for event-planners to consider. While some people worked with it, others stopped planning on campus events altogether.
Now, temperatures are rising, and COVID-19 restrictions are falling. According to Hill, this semester CCSGA’s Finance Committee has seen an unprecedented number of applications.
“It kind of feels like the campus has come out of hibernation a bit and just wants to make up for three years of lost time in one semester,” Hill said.
The Finance Committee is working to keep up. Hill said that the committee is trying to be more “intentional” with the money they distribute.
“We are trying to think equitably about the events that we are funding and about how to make them more inclusive,” said Vicente Blas-Taijerion ‘24, the committee’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion representative. This means seeking to fund events from affinity groups or those that hold a “cultural significance,” such as the Black Student Union’s Step Show, Blas-Taijerion said.
Students applying for Special Event Funding are also feeling the heat.
“Last year it was kind of, as long as we were bringing events CCSGA found interesting and compelling, then we were able to engage in the funding process with them,” said Emma Logan ‘24, the events co-chair of the SoCC.
Logan has been through the SEF process many times. During the 2021-2022 school year, she pitched events to the council five times and received funding each time.
“We were pretty much some of the only people applying,” Logan said.
The SoCC was able to host small concerts in accordance with Colorado College’s COVID-19 requirements. They brought artists such as Indigo De Souza, The Slaps, and were even able to bring Battle of the Bands back to campus after a two-year hiatus. All of this while masking and vaxxing, Logan said. This year, despite having fewer restrictions, they haven’t been able to do as much as they’d hoped.
“We have deliberately done less events this semester.” Logan said, “knowing that it isn’t necessarily guaranteed that we will get all that funding the same way that we did last year.”
They have combined concerts, having bands open for others instead of performing separately to cut costs, Logan said.
This uptick in applications is expected to continue as COVID-19 restrictions continue to dissipate. Hill proposed stopping the spontaneous nature of funding requests and placing a deadline on when events need to be proposed for each semester.
“The full picture can be funded at once instead of piecemeal over time,” said Hill. The Finance Committee believes that deadlines would be tough for students, though.
“I don’t want it to be super hard deadlines for everyone.” Schwieterman said, “I like how special events funding is spontaneous.”
Schwieterman said the deadline may work for larger events costing more than $10,000, as they require months of planning. But she doesn’t want to completely hinder students’ spontaneity and is not against the option for students to pitch events at any point of the year.
She is excited for CCSGA to switch to a new platform called “Presence.” Through this app, event planners across student organizations can connect and request funding from CCSGA. This platform will hopefully alleviate some pressure from the finance committee and strengthen the network of event planners.
Collaboration does seem to be the most promising solution to the issue. Hill pointed to one weekend last year that had multiple events proposed to take place. The SoCC wanted to host a Battle of the Bands, Sunbutter wanted to host a stand-up show, Mutual Aid pitched a drag show, and Mobile Arts wanted to have their own event with their truck.
Hill saw this as an opportunity to make one large event and reached out to the student leaders to make it happen. She was able to get them in contact with one another and created a Night of the Arts in Ed Robson Arena.
“We ended up having 500 people come to the event where any of those proposed by themselves would have been a small handful of people,” said Hill.
Schwieterman believes that CCSGA is doing its best to fund CC events.
“I really love this committee.” Schwieterman said, “I think that we are pioneering the growth of organic connections within the school community. We’ve spearheaded a lot of the organizing efforts for students. I’m really proud.”
While CCSGA and student planners are working to get funding sorted out, the student body can rest assured that they will have a spring semester full of events to attend.