At this Sunday’s meeting of the ASCMC Executive Board, the Board discussed the upcoming ASCMC elections and rebudgeting; an opportunity for a subscription partnership with the New York Times; and scheduling for spring events after Spring Break.
With regards to the upcoming elections, which will take place on February 25, ASCMC President Gavin Landgraf ’14 announced the idea of having candidate speeches in McKenna Auditorium rather than at the late-night snack in Collins Dining Hall. Landgraf explained that for the Freshman Class President election last fall, speeches were held in the Athenaeum, which was very successful; the Ath would not be large enough to accommodate the number of people who would turn out for the school-wide elections, but the size of McKenna would allow a larger audience for the speeches.
Landgraf also announced that the ASCMC Budget Committee will meet in the next couple weeks to begin the rebudgeting process for the spring term. He explained that most of the rebudgeting changes will simply reflect the final numbers from large events like Monte Carlo and Wedding Party, but added that Board members will have the opportunity to make “forward-looking” funding requests to the Committee if they anticipate their successors needing more than the 25% of each budget that is automatically reserved for after spring break.
Next, Campus Organizations Chair Will Su ‘16 explained that a representative from the New York Times had reached out to ASCMC to see if students would be interested in the publication’s education plan, which provides students with discounted Times subscriptions. The cost would be $1.88 per week per subscription, but if the school—either through ASCMC or the College administration—purchases at least 50 subscriptions, the plan includes additional benefits. For example, according to Landgraf, the Times would “be willing to send out journalists who are available to meet with students, have a Career Center day for students interested in journalism,” or hold other similar events.
Landgraf explained that this program makes the Times free for students, since it is typically funded by a student government or school administration, and noted that as an initial point to look into, the Board should explore the possibility of asking “some part of the administration to pay for it” or contribute to it if students are interested in the plan. “I would prefer the Wall Street Journal,” Landgraf noted.
Finally, Senior Class President Laura Epstein ‘14 urged the Board to begin the process of scheduling anticipated spring events that will take place after Spring Break—when the newly elected Executive Board will have assumed office—such as Pirate Party and 24-Hour Party. According to Epstein, the “Alumni Association has heard negative feedback about things that happened at Pirate Party” and may prefer that the Pirate Party not be held during that weekend. Because of this, Epstein explained, “if we want it to be that weekend, we need to start talking about it now.”
The issue of scheduling Pirate Party, Epstein added, also affects the scheduling of 24-Hour Party. She and Landgraf explained that there are a limited number of weekends available after Spring Break, given the spring concert with The Chainsmokers scheduled for April 5; Coachella taking place the weekends of April 12 and April 19; and spring semester senior theses due following the weekend of April 26. Alumni weekend is May 2-4. Because there are so few open weekends, Epstein explained, the options for scheduling 24-Hour Party will be further constrained if ASCMC decides not to have Pirate Party during Alumni Weekend.
Even though the events after Spring Break will be spearheaded by the next Board’s social chairs, Epstein insisted to the current Board that it “falls on us as a Board to not drop the ball.” Social Affairs Chair Mark Blumenfeld ’14 disagreed, saying, “I don’t think that falls on any of us. That’s the next Board’s decision.” Blumenfeld asked why the specifics of registering 24-Hour Party and Pirate Party had to be decided prior to February 25, when the new Board will be elected. Landgraf, however, noted that the Alumni Association needs to make a decision sooner than that based on ASCMC’s position.