Once again, the AMS is in the red when it comes to its budget. The Ubyssey reports that the AMS ran a deficit of close to $375,000 last year and this year it is projected to reach close to $150,000. That’s major $$$.
With Block Party being the big hole in their pocket, the plan is to cut down the budget for the event from $115,000 to $18,500. Still, it is estimated that Block Party won’t create any sort of revenue whatsoever once again and will burn close to $20,000. Better than last year’s loss of $103,000 from the event known as “that-time-the-Barenaked-Ladies-played-at-UBC”, aka Block Party. Other ideas for making sure that there is no loss at all include cutting the end of the year event all together if the Student Life Committee, chaired by Crystal Hon, can’t prove that the event won’t be a big black hole for cash money to be sucked into.
So what kind of game plan does the Student Life Committee and the Hon have? Marketing the event through the SLC. My thoughts? I like it. Block Party, to myself, is a sign of UBC community, unique to our campus that deserves to have someone cheering it on to being a financially-healthy and popular event (it should be considered to be an important part campus community if it is the decedent of ACF, something that happened while I was probably still in grade nine but I am told about all the time. That’s how important that event was to the lives of UBC students).
I have a few ideas in my mind of what we can do for our friend, Block Party. For one, can we try to find a way as a campus to shape Block Party into something that has more visible differences from the AMS Welcome Back BBQ? For students who aren’t a part of the bzzr garden scene, what can we offer them besides the non-drinking side of the fence? If these things are already offered, how can students know more about them to attract a wider audience to the event?
My other suggestions include giving me one of those beautiful pink lemonade Block Party shirts from last year to help promote and look fabulous in, inviting the xx or Bon Iver to play, and reaching out to other communities on campus (like SLC) to promote in new ways. I believe in the Hon, the Student Life Committee, and their ability to turn this “in the red by Block Party” thing around. By the end of it, I hope Block Party/some similar ACF event will stick around and be an annual joy/splurge event for UBCers on that last day of classes for years to come.