For those of you who are club leaders, you are probably well aware that this semester the Finance Board decided that they would not be paying for Coffeehouse fees at Chums. For those unaware, now you know.
To host a coffeehouse at Chums, an independent student run business, clubs and outside groups are required to pay Chums $50 to use the space. In this last semester, FBoard was willing to pay this price so that clubs could hold these events that promote their club and their activities. This semester FBoard is demanding that clubs find an alternative source of funding. One option is to collect money at the door; though Chums prohibits clubs from charging money for entry, clubs are allowed to ask for ‘suggested donations.’ In my previous experience with this method, the money collected via donations is far less than the money needed to pay the $50 fee.
Ultimately this means that FBoard is asking club leaders to pay for coffehouses out of pocket. I can see two immeadiate negative affects of this policy. We will see fewer coffeehouses, club leaders aren’t going to want to dish out $50 to pay for a cute event that doesn’t really do much for the club other than give some fun social time with music. But coffeehouses are a pretty important part of the Brandeis social life on weeknights; and without coffeehouses performance groups and student bands will have fewer opportunities to showcase their abilities to the student body.
A more dire consequence of the policy is a loss of revenue to Chums. According to Sarah Richardson from Student Activities, the majority of their operating money comes from these booking fees. Though outside groups not funded by the Student Union also book Chums, I’d presume a large number of the clubs using Chums are indeed charter clubs that would have used FBoard funds to pay for the coffeehouse.
I’ve discussed this matter with Max Wallach, the Treasurer, as well as with Sarah Richardson, who was unaware of the FBoard policy decision. I’d like for either FBoard to reverse its decision and to pay for the coffeehouses, or for Chums or Student Activities to shoulder the burden. Students should not have to pay $50 out of pocket for such an important part of the Brandeis social life.