Referendum up for vote would increase fees, attract bigger artists

A referendum Hurricane Productions (HP) Concerts is proposing could invite “bigger names” to play at the Watsco Center for Homecoming concerts. By raising student activity fees by $7, HP Concerts said that hiring artists such as Travis Scott, Kaskade, Foster the People, The 1975 and Walk The Moon is possible.

If the referendum passes, students will have to pay $7 per semester in activity fees for HP Concerts, giving the event planning committee a bigger budget to invite well-known artists.

“Seven dollars is the best fit that puts us in the ballpark range that will get big names,” Kyle Gordon, chair of HP Concerts, said. “It’s $7 because it’s basically a burrito. You will have to give up a Chipotle burrito to have this bigger artist on campus.”

Gordon said the additional funds would give students what they want: a better concert experience. HP Concerts has been criticized in the past for bringing what students called, “club and theater acts,” Gordon said. And a crowd-attracting artist would fill up the Watsco Center, adding to the experience.

“We get blasted when students say they don’t like an artist, and this causes the arena to not fill up. We want to fill it up, not always have it half-full,” he said.

Apart from getting an artist that students would be more excited about, Gordon said the referendum goes beyond that. It has to do with the community music creates.

“Concerts can be an important part of life, a universal language and it is a way to bond,” Gordon said. “We can definitely benefit the campus as a whole.”

If the referendum passes, the fees will take effect in 2018. Students can vote for or against this referendum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Feb. 27 to March 1 in the University Center Breezeway or on OrgSync.

Election results will be announced on March 1 at the Lakeside Patio. The Student Government (SG) executive board elections results and SG senator results will also be revealed.

There are nine candidates running to be senators. Abdiel Caballero, Christina Rodriguez, Jessica Vilches and Liztiffany Couceiro are running for commuter senator; Trevor Goley and David Tzeel are running for business school senator; Aditya Shah and Hayden Boilini for arts and sciences – and Charles Rilli for transfer student senator.