Competing concert proposals foster SFSS discord

CMYK-concertsplitFollowing the popularity of last year’s SFSS concert events, this year’s board of directors is bringing not one, but two competing concert proposals to the table.

VP student services Zied Masmoudi was the first to bring forward a motion to approve a 2014 Fall Kickoff event, as well as to appoint himself as the project lead.

Masmoudi’s event, the 2014 Fall Kickoff, would occur on Friday, September 12, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Convocation Mall. Based on four pillars of financial and social efficiency, sustainability, accessibility, and diversity, the event would feature different kinds of music: one, to be decided based on public desire, cost, and production means; the second, electronic dance music (EDM), which would be played later in the evening.

The proposed budget for the event totalled $76,250, with $35,000 allotted to headliners and artists. It also suggested that revenues would total at least $77,000, with an expected crowd of 1,700 to 2,000 people.

When asked where the money for the concert would come from, Masmoudi suggested that they borrow from other funds and return it after earning sponsorships and revenues.

The board decided to table Masmoudi’s motion, electing to listen to the other proposal from VP student life Kayode Fatoba before coming to a conclusion. 

The other proposal in question is Culture Kickoff Fest 2014, which Fatoba pitched as a concert, but also tied into other facets of SFU culture such as Build SFU, the bookstore, and the various clubs and DSU’s on campus. “This isn’t just about a diverse genre, but enhancing the event to have more attractions,” Fatoba explained in the proposal. 

The event would also feature sports activities, activities in the AQ, food trucks, and games such as “Pie your prof!”

The proposed budget for the Culture Kickoff Fest 2014 is $68,427, with $33,500 allocated for artists from different genres. The estimated revenue is $140,500, with $63,500 expected from ticket sales.

Although both presenters reiterated that neither proposal was set in stone, discussion quickly became heated. Not alone in her confusion was Chardaye Bueckert, SFSS president, who said, “I’m a little taken aback that [the proposals were] never mentioned until now, considering it’s such a large endeavour.”

VP university relations Moe Kopahi immediately brought up his concerns, suggesting that the executive members had not followed proper procedure in pursuing their concert proposals. “I’m going against any proposal coming to me here because board should not be dealing with this right now. We have a committee for it, the [events] committee should take care of this stuff,” said Kopahi. “This is a waste of board time.”

Furthermore, Kopahi asserted that those involved had already begun contacting university officials, for which they had not been given a mandate. Masmoudi explained that, since the events committee had failed to meet, he had taken the initiative to begin planning because “these projects need to move as soon as possible.”

Kopahi continued, saying that the competition between the two proposals had resulted in mediocrity: “These two proposals are rushed. They’re rushed because they want to get to the table as fast as they can. To be honest with you, they both sucked. They both really sucked.”

In an attempt to bring both sides together, Kopahi put forward a motion that would task Fatoba, Masmoudi, and himself to investigate hosting a large kickoff event in the fall. The motion failed. 

The board also failed to come to an agreement as to which event to pursue, voting against Masmoudi’s motion in order to discuss for another week. When the meeting time expired, Masmoudi — along with other board members — refused to stop talking. He exclaimed, “This is bullshit!”

He then turned to Bueckert and said, “Point of order, you need to stop directing where the votes should go, and you need to stop making suggestions as to what we should vote for.”

Bueckert replied, “That is not a point of order.”

In an official statement sent to The Peak after the meeting, Fatoba, Masmoudi, and VP external relations Darwin Binesh explained, “The next step is not finding a ‘compromise’. It is about finding the most efficient way of allocating the board’s resources, to best provide the intent of both proposals to our membership.” 

“The discussion was never about choosing one side or the other as an ultimatum,” the statement read.

Both proposals will be brought back to board on Tuesday, June 3, to be discussed further.

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