Meals account for most of CAB’s budget

by Carl Benskin

After losing $10,000 on the Nintendo Fusion Tour last year, Campus Activities Board isn’t planning on bringing a large, well-known band to campus this year. But it does have plans for its $120,000 budget.

CAB will use its funds – including a $7,000 increase from last year – on four main budget areas: meals, live

entertainment, movies and other expenses.

Dining expenses

Meals take a third of the budget – $40,000. This category is mainly used for the midnight breakfasts, popular CAB events in past years. This has been a main staple of the Stormy Nights program, which CAB has organized for three years.

“We averaged 60 people for midnight breakfast [our first year],” Rich Ramos said, assistant dean for student services.

Last year the midnight breakfasts served 130-135 people. Ramos said CAB’s late-night meals were the fastest growing activity. This year midnight breakfast costs $2.

“I would love to keep it free, but the budget doesn’t allow it,” Ramos said.

He said the old system, where the first 50 people got in free and everyone else paid $1, wasn’t very economical.

“If you have 60 people you are only making $10,” Ramos said.

Student entertainment

Live entertainment accounts for $30,000 – a fourth of the budget.

Ramos said one of the reasons for the budget increase CAB got this year was that the cost for bringing a band to campus has gone up. Gas prices have affected the cost of a band, and CAB provides bands with lodging and food while they’re in Indianola.

“This week we are spending $150 extra a night [for their hotel rooms],” Ramos said about Red Wanting Blue, which played last Friday.

Ramos said CAB isn’t planning on bringing a large, well-known band to Simpson this year due to the money lost during the Fusion Tour. But, CAB is working to get students discounted tickets for events at Val-Air Ballroom.

Discounted movies

Movies are the third category, accounting for $16,000 of the $120,000 budget. This is another area CAB has seen an increase in costs. Fridley Theaters added more screens and movies, so more students are taking advantage of the discounted price.

Junior Jenifer Mertes is glad CAB provides events for students, especially the movies.

“I think that it’s great that they offer all the discounted movies,” Mertes said.

Other expenses

The other $34,000 of CAB’s budget is spent in a variety of ways.

Members are paid $5.15 an hour for setting up for events, but are not paid for going to meetings. In an average year, those student salaries cost CAB between $3,000-$4,000. CAB’s president is also paid $800 per year.

Karaoke accounts for $7,000 of CAB’s budget.

CAB is also responsible for family weekend, Homecoming, bingo, Hump-Day Ha comedians and sending members to the National Association for Campus Activities Convention – all of which help account for the $34,000 left in the budget. NACA alone can take up $5,000-$8,000 of the group’s budget.

“It’s real deceiving to see this $120,000 budget,” Ramos said. “It looks like a lot of money. But when you sit down and look at all of the things that have to be covered, it’s not actually a terribly huge amount of money.”

Junior Brooke Dey, CAB president, said CAB is trying to have a major event each weekend. Besides the regulars in the late night program, CAB has had an Oxygen Bar and a Dance Dance Revolution tournament, and has added more midweek events.

“We’re having a spoken-word poet as a Hump Day Ha,” Dey said.

Dey said she wants campus involvement in CAB planning.

“We want people,” Dey said. “Anyone can come to CAB. We are always looking for new ideas.”