Senate explains band funding cut

The 36th Student Senate convened on Tuesday for a lengthy and tense last session of the semester.

Julian White, director of bands and chair of the department of music, addressed the Senate because of its decision to cut the music department’s funding for 2007-2008.

White said SGA allocated the band $140,000 last year for uniforms, repairs and other operational expenses. However, they were only allocated $30,000 for next year.

White said $30,000 would not even cover pre-drill. He pointed out that pre-drill alone, where the band reviews fundamentals and learns the season’s music, will cost the band and estimated $40,000-$50,000.

“If we don’t have pre-drill, it would take us about three games to get our first show ready,” said White. “I would hate to see us play Southern and the Marching 100 wouldn’t be there.” Senators expressed their thoughts on White’s plea for funds.

“I’m sitting here listening to you and it’s breaking my heart,” said Sen. Elijah Bowdre. “Our intentions are not to kill the band or say, ‘Here survive on this.’ We’re under the impression that you’ll be able to operate anyway.”

White rebutted.

“That’s a misconception that the band is wealthy from contributions,” he said. He pointed out that from the Super Bowl the band received only $3,000 and they received no money from the Honda Battle of the Bands.

“The University puts a lot on A&S funds,” said Senate President Ebony Manchion. “It’s not right,” said the 22-year-old business administration student.

“I had meetings to discuss this,” White said. “The information that I was given was that academic units would not assume the responsibility for funding the band.”

Additionally, he said, “I’ve been here 38 years and I have never had that type of reception. We don’t do that to you. When you ask us to play we play. Rain, shine or having to miss class.”Michael Scott, head drum major for the Marching 100 expressed similar sentiments.

“Coming off a great year and the things we did with symphonic band, wind ensemble and marching band, it’s like a slap in the face.”

The 24-year-old music education student from Miami continued, “$30,000 won’t get us across the street.

Bowdre suggested a “Keep the band alive” drive to raise money for the e-band to remain in existence.

“We just don’t have 100,000 more dollars to give the band,” he said.

White also pointed out that the flute choir, orchestra and percussion ensemble also received zero funding.

Senators also reminded students and Senate members of the Ending Inauguration, which will be in the architecture atrium at 6 pm. Cosmo attire required.