One week ago today marked a year since the last annual Campus Activities Board (CAB) Concert. The Sanford Coyote Sports Center hosted 24K Golden to a considerably smaller crowd than previous years. Today, there is no answer to whether they will host another concert this year.
CAB currently receives the largest amount of money appropriated from SGA out of all student organizations. To host last year’s concert, the board allegedly overspent their budget, leading CAB to seek further funding from the Dean of Students to ensure that the artist was paid. That year, the organization was allocated $99,000. This year, the group saw a cut of $4,850 in SGA allocated funds.
Student organizations are funded through the General Activity Fee (GAF), which is paid by students through their tuition. For every credit hour registered, a student pays $55.30 in GAF. The Student Government Association (SGA) then determines how that money is distributed to its student organizations. Organizations can make requests for special appropriations and exemptions should they need more funds, or to use funds that don’t align with SGA’s fiscal guidelines.
At SGA’s second meeting of the year, CAB requested an exemption to put on a “CAB Casino Night.”. SGA voted in favor of that exemption.
With no reported plans for a CAB concert, CAB laid out other plans for its programming. In their recent report to SGA, they asked for collaboration with other student organizations and clubs.
“We’re blessed with the budget that we have, we are more than willing to partner with other organizations to expand their impact on campus,” CAB Vice President Sam Anderson said.
SGA President Caleb Swanson said SGA has seen an increase in requests for special appropriations from a number of organizations.
The General Activity Fee hasn’t been changed since 2020, when it saw an 80 cent increase.
“Essentially, due to a lack of increase in the General Activity Fee, SGA has seen some budget cuts, and we’ve had more student organizations coming to us for funding,” he said.
The cost to host successful events has also skyrocketed, due to inflation. Swanson said the cost of hosting a concert has increased significantly.
“From my understanding, in order for them (CAB) to host a concert that would actually be something students enjoy and want to attend, it would take a significant stab into SGA’s budget,” Swanson said.
CAB’s concert dilemma could be part of a broader issue in Board of Regents schools, according to Swanson.
“There have been other SDBOR (South Dakota Board of Regents) universities that have expressed concern over a lack of an increase in GAF funding,” he said.
USD is currently in a tuition freeze, a measure supported by last year’s legislature. The General Activity Fee is separate from the tuition freeze. In order to receive any increase in GAF, there must be a campaign led by students or SGA members.
Students who are interested in raising General Activity Fees to support student organizations are able to petition to SGA. According to SGA bylaws, GAF fees are reviewed by an SGA-appointed General Activity Fee Committee. That committee will make recommendations falling in line with both SGA’s bylaws and USD’s policies.
“I think that we [SGA] will eventually have to raise GAF fees if we want to continue what we are doing now, or what we have done in the past,” Swanson said.
The CAB Concert is known among students new and old and is advertised on campus tours to prospective Coyotes as a major highlight of the USD experience.
Freshman Morgan Moeller recalls the discussion of the concert among older students.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t have a concert, because so many people have talked about it and said it was one of their favorite memories,” she said.
Another student, Sophomore Wilton Roberts, attended the concert last year. He also described his disappointment.
“I enjoyed the concert a lot last year, it was a very good experience. I was excited to go and to know who would be performing,” he said.
While it’s still unknown what exactly happened to the CAB concert, the Board is looking forward to its future, the group’s President Jennica Pitts said in a statement to The Volante. As of now, CAB has multiple events planned in partnership with other organizations, none of which include a concert.