Big Show 6 was postponed until Fall 2006 and money was not given to Student Productions and Campus Entertainment to potentially improve the annual event in a finance-focused Associated Students Senate meeting at the University Student Union Grand Salon April 18.
Jennifer Santos, director of SPACE, said that Big Show 6, an annual concert that features various music artists, would still be held in 2006, but in the fall semester rather than May 10.
The SPACE committee decided on the concert’s postponement during the week before spring break.
“We really have this idea for Big Show to incorporate the whole campus, and this time we weren’t able to do it,” she said.
Santos made the announcement on the same day that an amendment to give the program money originally allotted to the Athletics Department was considered and rejected.
She said the postponement was due to the lack of money to book big-name artists, as well as construction delays on the renovation of the University Student Union, where the concert would have been held next month.
She later said that in addition to having a Big Show this fall, there could also be a Spring 2007 concert.
That plan could change, however, with the Senate’s decision not to give SPACE $45,000 from money allotted to Intercollegiate Athletics, which already faced a cut of $18,465.
Athletics currently has a fund of about $1.47 million.
Several athletes, most of them from the track and field team, participated in the open forum at the beginning of the meeting. Nearly all of them talked about how important it was to have the money in the athletics fund as a way to bring more student athletes to the school.
The Athletics Department funds scholarships that help students who need the aid to attend CSUN.
The Senate was visibly affected when Diana Rosete, a distance runner, tearfully spoke about the help she received from the school when her parents – who she said take care of her brother, who suffers from muscular dystrophy – could not pay for her education.
“I just want to say thank you because it’s helped me a lot,” Rosete said. “The last thing I want to do is take money from my parents when my brother needs it more than me.”
The amendment to the budget that could have given SPACE the extra money was an amendment to the 2006-07 budget, which was unanimously passed later in the meeting.
Director of Finance Bryanne Knight gave each member of the Senate a list of the amendments with information included that could have factored into their vote.
Her notes under the SPACE amendment stated that the program already had an increase last year of $18,000, although the A.S. Hurricane Katrina relief support in Fall 2005 kept some money meant for the Big Show from SPACE.
Nearly all of the senators spoke out about the amendment. Most opposed it.
College of Business and Economics Senator Zachary Mendelsohn, a presidential candidate in the A.S. run-off election, talked about the consequences of the money being taken from athletics if the amendment was passed.
“That money (which could be lost) starts going against their operational costs,” he said. “That’s someone’s job, someone’s scholarship.”
A.S. President Chad Charton received a large amount of attention when he handed over his gavel to Vice President Safa Sajadi temporarily, turned his nameplate over and expressed his support for the Athletics Department.
“I have spent a lot of time on the Blue Ribbon Commission, and that certainly validates this claim: this is a priority for the university,” Charton said. “We’re talking about a day of recreation versus (a department with) a need that continues to go unmet.”
Charton gained momentum as he went on.
“(We’re doing this) for what, a concert? So some putz ? can put rims” on his expensive car, he said. Shortly after, he ended his speech by shouting “Screw you!” He later said that his final statement was directed toward musicians who charge the school so much for their Big Show performance contribution.
Charton said that when the budget would make its way to CSUN President Jolene Koester’s desk for approval, she would undoubtedly send it back if the amendment took money from the Athletics Department.
Seventeen senators opposed the amendment, while two voted in favor.
Among other motions passed at the meeting, the Armenian Student Association received $550 more than planned for tonight’s Candlelight Vigil, held to raise awareness and commemorate the approximately 1.5 million victims of the Armenian genocide that began in 1915.
Knight recommended that $1,300 be given to the ASA, but Sajadi tried several times to raise the amount.
“To this day, the world and U.S. hasn’t (acknowledged) that the Armenian genocide even occurred,” she said. “I can honestly assure you this is worth our money.”
After several votes to settle on a new amount, the Senate passed an amount of $1,850, down from Sajadi’s original motion of $2,500.
Lauren Robeson can be reached at email@example.com.