In past years, Woolsey Hall drew crowds for performances by entertainers such as Jimmy Fallon and Darrell Hammond. But this fall, its stage is empty.
The Yale College Council did not organize a performance this fall due to a lack of funds and the increasingly high cost of performers, YCC President Andrew Cedar ’06 said. The YCC’s University funding is minimal, Cedar said, and it could not afford to lose money on a fall show this year.
The YCC lost money on the past two years’ shows, despite $15 admission fees. University administrators are currently discussing the organization’s lack of funding with YCC student leaders.
“I told them I’d look into where they stand with funding and where they stand with various promises that were made to them about implemental funds,” Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said.
The YCC has been working with both Salovey and Yale President Richard Levin to find solutions. At a meeting with Salovey on Monday, the YCC presented its agenda for the year and raised the issue of funding. Cedar said the administration has been receptive to the YCC’s needs.
The inability to host a fall show is representative of the YCC’s general lack of funding, Cedar said.
A Harvard Undergraduate Council April report on college activities funding reported Yale’s student activities funding as the lowest in the Ivy League.
To solve the funding problem, the YCC proposed a student activities fee, which they passed unanimously last April. The resolution proposed a $30 addition to tuition, which would be distributed to the YCC, the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee, and the club sports program.
The activities fee proposal is under consideration by the administration, although no decision has been reached, Cedar said. Yale does not currently have any activities fees. Instead, the YCC’s $12,000 budget and the additional $50,000 for Spring Fling come from general University funds.
The YCC’s Yale Student Activities Committee, created last September, exists to produce events for the benefit of students. The committee has many ideas for improving and expanding campus-wide events, Cedar said, but the YCC cannot fund them.
“We are struggling to make second-rate events happen, and that’s not the way it should be,” Cedar said. “There is no reason to be breaking the bank to plan an event that students are going to be dissatisfied with.”
The Hammond show last year cost the YCC less than the Fallon show two years ago, but the turnout was also smaller, Cedar said.
Melinda Delis ’06, who attended the Fallon show but not the Hammond one, said she does not care that there will not be a fall show this year.
“To be honest, it doesn’t really matter to me,” Delis said. “If I want to see someone, New York is close enough.”