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Spring Weekend, Dance Party Receive Funding

By Alex Ianculescu

The bulk of large event funding for the spring term will go to this year's Spring Weekend, with a small amount going to MITLive, a new multimedia concert event.

Student government officials met last week to allocate $32,000 towards spring term large events out of a total $124,000 in requests.

Spring Weekend received $30,100. The remaining $1,900 was given to MIT Live. A total of 12 applications were submitted for consideration.

MIT Live received the highest approval rating from the representatives in charge of large event funding, according to Graduate Student Council President Brian J. Schneider G, who served on the allocation committee along with representatives from the GSC, Undergraduate Association and the Association of Student Activities.

Kartik M. Mani '00, co-chair of the Spring Weekend committee, said that Spring Weekend "had as good a chance as any other group" for receiving large event funding. "Spring Weekend has been a tradition at MIT, but we weren't confident that we'd get the entire funding,"he said.

The Spring Weekend committee submitted a proposal asking for $32,000 although its total budget is $60,000. The committee plans on receiving additional funding from different departments, Dormitory Council, and the Interfraternity Council

Funding decision fair

Questions over the fairness of large event funding had been raised during fall-term allocations.

"I can understand the suspicion, especially since the [Spring Weekend committee] co-chairs are members of the representative groups" to the funding committee, Schneider said. However, he adds "We made no pretext of giving the money to [Spring Weekend]" Schneider said.

While one member of the funding committee had raised the idea that the spring term large event fund automatically go to Spring Weekend, that idea was turned down and bidding was made open to the entire campus, according to Schneider.

Proposals that were turned down included those submitted by College Republicans and College Democrats and several cultural groups.

One of the main criteria for approval for large-event funding was that it be a unifying force for the campus. Another criteria was how well-planned and detailed the proposal submitted was.

"We were looking for events that appealed to more than just a specific group, culture, or sub-population at MIT," Schneider said.

Spring Weekend timetable set

Spring Weekend 1999 is planned for April 2225 and will include the International Fair, the Spring Carnival, and the Spring Concert.

The committee for Spring Weekend is co-chaired by Campus Activities Complex Program Board representative Michelle T. Hardiman '00, Mani, a representative from the Undergraduate Association Social Committee, and Pubudu C. Wariyapola G, a representative from the GSC Activities Committee.

The Spring Weekend Committee also has representatives from other groups, including the International Student Association, the Lecture Series Committee, Sigma Chi, Alpha Tau Omega, Dormcon, the IFC, Alpha Phi, and the Women's Independent Living Group.

According to Hardiman, "On Thursday [of Spring Weekend] we will have some intro event, on Friday there will be the International Fair, and on Saturday will be the carnival followed by the concert at night." The specific schedule is still tentative, however.

The ISA will be running the International Fair on Friday, and the other student groups "will be running their own mini-events," Hardiman said. "The Spring Weekend committee will just be coordinating all of these smaller events."

Organizers say the early funding boost will help the overall success of Spring Weekend.

"In the past, Spring Weekend had to do a lot of fundraising on its own," Mani said. "It is very, very good that we have secured this funding so early. Spring Weekend is going to be better than it's ever been. In the past, we've had a lack of timely funding. This year we have a substantial amount already set up, which is indicative that Spring Weekend will really be successful."

MIT Live is a multimedia event that will be held by the MIT Dance Mix Coalition, MIT Anime, MIT Ballroom Dance Team, and Dance Troupe. The event is proposed as a large dance party with some unique features. During MIT Live, a large sound, lighting, and video system to allow for the interplay of lighting effects, dance artists, video effects, and manipulated music.

Funding differs from fall

Large-event funding decisions differed from fall term to the spring term, according to Schneider.

For the allocation of large event funding in the fall semester, Schneider said that the funding representatives "picked a couple of events proposed by different student groups, and we just rolled this into one large festival."

The Fall Festival received $18,000 in funds.

"Last time, for the Fall Festival, the student groups didn't get along very well, and there was a lot of miscommunication. Also, we didn't want to have to manage the event ourselves," Schneider said. Instead, this time the representatives allocating large event funding wanted to give one group the financial responsibility for a large event, rather than having to tell student groups exactly how to interact.