The Hurricane Productions [HP] referendum to increase the student activity fee by $7.50 was turned down by 572 students during this year’s student government elections.
The increased budget of about $108, 000 would have enabled HP to increase the quality of on-campus entertainment, members said.
472 student voted in favor of the referendum, and 181 abstained.
“Maybe people thought such a large amount would be greedy, that HP was asking too much,” said Mike Johnston, SG speaker of the senate. “But people ask a lot from HP.”
HP members told the Hurricane that normally $7.50 could buy a movie ticket whereas for a $7.50 increase in student activity fee, HP could provide students with on-campus concert, sneak previews, the latest movies, local bands playing, distinguished lecturers and much more.
“We are asking students to go out and vote for it as it will enable us to provide them with first class entertainment,” said Graham Micone, the HP representative who had authored the bill to place the referendum on the spring elections ballot.
It looks like HP will just have to be giving UM more of the same, said HP Chair Maria Gomez.
“We’re still going to do the films and concerts and pretty much everything we did this year,” Gomez said. “Just not to the caliber we have hoped. But we’re not sacrificing quality at all.”
Hurricane Productions has not decided whether they will go up for referendum again next semester.
“We haven’t really discussed it quite yet,” Micone said.
“I hope if we do decide to do it again that people won’t be so afraid to vote yes,” Gomez said.
Johnston speculated that it was lack of publicity that prevented the referendum from passing.
“Publicity could have been better. Maybe some people didn’t know what HP was,” Johnston said.
“The last referendum that passed was very well publicized,” Johnston said, referring to the IBIS yearbook referendum that was on last November’s student government election ballot.
HP chairs have not yet discussed the reasons their referendum failed, but admitted that publicity may have been a factor.
“I can only conjecture, but I was just wondering if people really understood what it was for,” Gomez said. “If publicity was a problem, then that’s just something we have to look at next time.”
“It could have been. We did try to publicize it though. We did try,” Micone said.
Anyone with questions about Hurricane Productions can contact Gomez at 305-284-4606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.