Spring Concerts Challenged

Council Member Suggests Redirecting Funds to Houses

Criticizing the fact that spring concerts in the past five years have lost the Undergraduate Council significant amounts of money, a representative is proposing that the body redirect its funds to help houses buy durable goods.

Council member Benjamin D. Unger '94 said yesterday that he plans to propose at Sunday's meeting that the council offer three dollars for every dollar that houses spend on durable goods. The most a house could receive would be $750, he said.

The proposal, which would cost up to $10,000, might, for example, help Adams House repair its pool table and weight equipment, Unger said. Houses like Quincy would also be able to purchase items like a pizza oven.

Unger said that his proposal specifically avoids allocating funds for social purposes because another triple matching fund bill has already passed through the council for that purpose.

The proposal would "get the money to where it's going to be well-spent and really improve the quality of student life," he said.


Unger said that it was important that the proposal pass soon, in order for the house committees to plan what to buy and for seniors to benefit from their annual $20 contribution.

Some council members said yesterday that the proposal would preferable to a big spring concert, given the council's track record on the event.

Council member Hassen A. Sayeed '96 said that the since the last three concerts lost money, "maybe this spring concert isn't the best way to spend our money."

"We don't have very much [money] to begin with because our fees are so low, but what we have, we have to be responsible with," Sayeed said.

Said Cabot House Committee Chair Ali Binazir '93, "The reason it's failed is that it has been ill-planned and ill-organized and the artists have been ill-chosen."

"If it's planned well I think [a big spring concert] would be a good idea, but with the U.C.'s track record, that is a major risk," said Binazir.

According to council treasurer Carey W. Gabay '94, the 1990 Ziggy Marley concert lost $50,000, while last year's De La Soul concert lost around $10,000.

Some house committee chairs threw their support behind the proposal, saying the funds to the houses would directly benefit students.

"People know that things get done in the houses," said Aren R. Cohen '94, in-coming Winthrop House Committee chair. "A good number of people at Harvard feel that their sense of community is based in the house."

However, some council and house committee members maintained support for the spring concert. They said prefer large, campus-wide events to mid-year house support as a way to unify students.