SGA declines Marching 100 funding request

Student Senate chambers before Wednesday's meeting.
Photo Submitted by Austin Dixon.

FAMU’s Student Senate approved a resolution on Wednesday saluting the Marching 100 for its high-profile participation in the New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade in California, but senators also questioned the amount of funding the band has requested.

“We didn’t fund the Marching 100 for their Pasadena trip. We funded them in last session’s Student Senate and they put the Marching 100 into the annual budget that included pre-drill and many other things for the band, and that came out to about $85,000,” Senate President Rochard Moricette said. “They (The Marching 100) requested $100,000 for the Pasadena trip this year, but we weren’t able to allocate that line item, so we had to strike it because we didn’t have the money needed. It’s not an endless pot.”

The Marching 100 is one of the university’s primary ambassadors, but it is also an expensive enterprise. The funding that Student Government Association allocates to the band goes primarily toward copyright fees, which are required for most of the music selected by the band.

“If we don’t pay for those things, then there won’t be a Marching 100, because they won’t be playing their music,” Senate A&S liaison Asia Strong said.

While it is normal for big organizations on campus to receive significant funding, sometimes it may not work in their favor, especially when the Student Senate is limited in terms of much it can fund any one entity.

“The Marching 100 is one of the large organizations that we try to fund as much as possible, through the annual budget, but nobody is ever guaranteed the amount of money that they request,“ Strong said. “The band does request a lot of money, though a lot of large organizations on campus do as well, and if we could give them a million dollars we would, but it’s just unfortunate because we just don’t have the money to give them everything that they want.”

Strong said she hopes SGA will have more funding for the band for the upcoming school year.

“I’m not exactly sure what they requested in the budget for this upcoming school year (2019-20) but we should be getting our information soon, because they (Marching 100) already submitted their budget request for the year and it’s just the fact that we have to pull it up and look at it now.”