Amongst the five proposed lock-in fee initiatives included on the upcoming spring election ballot, the Associated Students Program Board is asking for a $4.50 increase, amounting to a total of $10 per undergraduate per quarter.
Students currently pay $5.50 per quarter – $16.50 per year – to ASPB, the on-campus organization that funds UCSB concerts such as the annual Extravaganza. In order for the board to increase its lock-in fee, two-thirds of voters must approve the initiative. Students can vote on the initiative during the annual A.S. election, being held April 24-27.
ASPB Commissioner Brendan Finch said the board needs more money to provide better and more frequent concerts to the student body. He said the money will also assist various student groups by providing them with new fundraising opportunities.
“Lots of different student groups want to throw concerts for fundraising,” Finch said. “[To hire] a good artist to sell out the Hub is very expensive. We have to be really stingy with the artists we pick.”
Finch said other schools, such as UC San Diego, host almost three times the number of shows as UCSB. He said the Welcome Back show in fall and Extravaganza in spring are the only large-scale free concerts ASPB puts on each year, and the bill of bands for both events are somewhat short.
ASPB receives money solely from its lock-in fee and usually breaks even on its concerts, Finch said. Unlike UCLA and UCSD, the board does not receive additional funds from A.S. or other sources.
However, UCSD’s student government, which represents nearly 20,000 students, runs its budget differently. The student council receives a $21 per quarter lock-in fee for all of its activities and then allocates the funds for specific purposes, such as programming.
According to the 2005-06 UCSD A.S. Executive Budget, $415,230 per year is directed toward programming expenses. UCSB’s ASPB, on the other hand, currently receives $280,500 per year from an estimated 17,000 students.
The UCSD A.S. recently proposed to raise the lock-in fee from $21 to $30 per quarter for the 2006-07 school year, which will raise more than $600,000 for the programming office. In contrast, the UCSB Program Board would receive $433,500 from the increased lock-in fee if passed.
UCLA’s Student Union and Student Support Services Director Jerry Mann said UCLA’s A.S. undergraduate association operates similarly to that of UCSD’s, and has a $39.91 per quarter lock-in fee that the A.S. divides between its groups. He said programming receives $6 per quarter, but can also request additional funding from A.S.
The increase to the ASPB lock-in fee for next year will also include either the 25 percent or 33 percent subtraction for return-to-aid mandated by the UC Regents. If the increase passes and the return-to-aid portion is 33 percent, only $8.50 of the $10 would go to ASPB.
Finch said ASPB has not yet released this year’s bill of performers for Extravaganza because the board does not have enough money to offer the artists they are currently asking for. However, he said ASPB will host Pinback and Blackalicious concerts in the Hub this quarter.
Finch said ASPB will never consider charging students an admission fee to Extravaganza.
“We’d never [charge admission at Extravaganza],” Finch said. “It’s for the students – it’s an event.”