Assistant Dean of Students John Battaglino said Boston University’s Programming Council was able to allocate its funds differently during Weeks of Welcome this year due to the combination of BU Central, Student Activities Office event advisors and PC into one organization.
“It [Weeks of Welcome] starts out the first three or four weeks out of every year to get the experience going,” Battaglino said. “It’s a little bit too soon for student groups to kick into gear, and it is hard for them to program so early in the year. So what we do is we start out with the first few weekends with Weeks of Welcome.”
Battaglino said when BU Central and PC combined forces and became one entity under the Student Activities Office, they pooled their funds from the undergraduate student fee together. He said this did not change how much money was spent on Weeks of Welcome, but rather broadened the scope of it.
“We were pretty good through our budget, and we didn’t spend any more,” Battaglino said. “We just spent it differently. I think we spent it pretty wisely.”
Battaglino said 100 percent of the undergraduate student fee, a percentage of tuition paid by every student, now goes to student programming and is broken up in a variety of ways with what officials believe is the best interest of the student in mind.
“BU is pretty clear that we don’t spend and bring billion-dollar concerts here,” Battaglino said. “Our model is about building a community with our own endeavors. We don’t throw lavish events and frivolously spend money on things. We do think it’s important to bring people together, particularly at the beginning of the year.”
Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said Weeks of Welcome was more elaborate this year than in years past, which may have contributed to this change.
“If a group is doing something during Weeks of Welcome, we try to make sure they don’t take a financial hit on it,” Elmore said. “So if they’re opening it up to the campus community without a charge, we say, ‘well, let’s take care of some of their costs.’ We budget for that.”
Student Government President Dexter McCoy said the combination of BU Central and PC gives SAO officials a clearer idea of where they can pull funds from when constructing their overall budget.
McCoy said in terms of funding for programming, the way the community service fee is distributed has changed. He said the university has separated the undergraduate student fee, and now money for programming comes from the community service fee.
“What has happened now is that there has been a combining of PC and BU Central, so it is all one budget rolled together,” McCoy said. “They also take in that and combined it with SAO’s programming budget for an overall programming budget, so it is SAO’s money put with the money from the programming board now that is controlled by SAO administrators and by the students hired onto the programming board.”
Allison Macika, one of PC’s general managers, said the consolidation of PC and BU Central helped produce an overlap in programming, and gave them more resources to work with. She said they did not have more money to spend, but rather just allocated it differently this year.
“PC has always had a budget and BU Central has always had a budget,” Macika said. “It’s just that this year it has combined instead of having less for individual programs. With our combined resources we can bring in bigger names.”