ASUC Passes Bill Sponsoring Hip-Hop Concert

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In an attempt to raise funds and promote larger campus events for students, the ASUC Senate passed a bill at its Feb. 23 meeting sponsoring a spring concert tentatively scheduled to feature rap and hip-hop artists Andre Nickatina and Too $hort.

The senate has depleted its Senate Only Fund - which typically funds senate training - by allocating $5,000 for the event, though officials in charge of planning expect to make it back through ticket sales and corporate sponsorships. The allocation of any extra money made will be up to the senate's discretion.

Student Action Senator Vishalli Loomba, a co-author of the bill, said the total cost of the event has been capped at $25,000, though she added that she hopes for a lower cost.

"The budget is really fluid right now," Loomba said. "We are negotiating, and $25,000 is the cap, the highest amount we will pay, but because this is for charity and philanthropy, the artists understand and we will only be paying them two-thirds of that price."

Another $2,000 from the Student Opportunity Fund and $500 from the Arts and Creativity Fund have been requested, bringing the senate's total down payment to $7,500.

Loomba said the event, preliminarily scheduled for April 13 or 14, will most likely take place in Pauley Ballroom and that she is confident the senate can sell the 1,000 tickets necessary to fill the space and cover event costs.

To pay for the remaining costs of the event, Loomba said she is seeking corporate sponsorship from businesses such as CampusCred and Red Bull, but she said sponsorship packets cannot be sent out until the artists' contract is set.

According to Hedy Chen, chief of staff in the office of the executive vice president, money raised through ticket sales - which she said will likely cost between $20 and $25 - and sponsorship will be used to replenish the Senate Only Fund and also to the Senate Contingency Fund, which is used to fund student groups.

Although the bill passed with 15 votes in favor and none in opposition, there were five abstentions. CalSERVE Senator Kenny Gong, one of those who abstained, said he had issues with the nature of the artists' music.

"I think the politics around the ways that they objectify women is problematic," Gong said. "I don't support the artists, and in the future I want to take into account the politics and potential lyrics and music artists have."

Garrett Marker, president of UC Berkeley's Kappa Alpha Order and co-author of the bill, said he has been working with Loomba to plan the event because of his contacts in the music industry as well as a connection from a concert performed at his fraternity house by rapper E-40 on the day of the Big Game, Nov. 19.

"The event at my house was fun and good for all the guys, but we want it more open to campus in general, and not just a Greek system thing," Marker said.

Now that the bill has passed, he said he hopes to officially sign the artists by Feb. 27.


Contact Anjuli Sastry at [email protected]

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