Recognized student groups will not be required to pay a surcharge fee to the Department of Event Management (EM) for use of EM services, according to two UGBC senators. EM had planned to implement a 10 to 20 percent charge by the start of 2015, they said, but will now waive student groups after UGBC took up the issue as a central lobbying point over the past few months.
EM, known as the Bureau of Conferences prior to this academic year, decided last year that it would require student groups to pay a surcharge somewhere between 10 and 20 percent on services such as catering needs, booking rooms, setting up tents, and aiding in other logistical purposes. It was set to take effect at the beginning of the new semester, but throughout this semester EM added—and then subtracted—a fee equal to 20 percent of the price of the service to the bills it sent to student groups who used EM services, so as to prepare the groups for how the fee would affect them in the following semester, according to Matt Lavelle, UGBC senator, chairman of the Student Assembly’s Finance Committee, and A&S ’15.
Following their election last spring, Nanci Fiore-Chettiar, UGBC president and A&S ’15, and Chris Marchese, vice president and A&S ’15, learned EM was considering implementing the surcharge, according to Marchese. Fiore-Chettiar’s administration wanted to fight it. At a meeting with the Board of Trustees of Boston College, Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese brought up the issue and stressed the possible negative effects it could have on student groups.
According to Lavelle, based on last year’s budget, a 20-percent surcharge would have cost UGBC close to $9,000. Lavelle and Thomas Napoli, a UGBC senator and A&S ’16, analyzed UGBC’s budget after meeting with EM about the surcharge early in the semester. EM was performing its own analysis, but before Lavelle and Napoli could present their findings, EM notified them in mid-October that student groups would be granted a waiver for the charge.
Jason McClellan, director of EM, was unavailable for comment as of press time.
EM assists departments and groups across the University with planning conferences, small meetings, or large-scale events. UGBC has in years past used its services for events like the fall concert, the Christmas tree lighting, and BC Boardwalk, in addition to the Annual Showdown.
According to Napoli, if fully implemented, the surcharge would have limited student groups’ ability to put on a large number of events. According to Lavelle, UGBC allocates anywhere from $5,000 to $17,000 to student groups each year, typically to supplement the funds provided by the Student Organization Funding Committee (SOFC), which groups go to first for funding.
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