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Council Approves $9,000 For Band

By Laura E. Rosenbaum and Tobie E. Whitman

The Undergraduate Council agreed last night to spend up to $9,000 to bring a band to campus for Springfest.

The decision allows the council to pursue band such as Buffalo Tom, God Street Wine and The Samples, all of which were suggested at last night's meeting.

Catherine D. Rucker '99, co-chair of the Campus Life committee, said that her committee wants to get the best-known band possible. Representatives named Weezer and The Cardigans as high-end possibilities, but acknowledged that big names cost big money.

"It's difficult to sell Harvard as a charity case," Rucker said. "[Agents] expect us to have $25,000 to spend on things like this."

According to Rucker, other Ivy League schools receive allotments of as much as $25,000 from their college administrations. This money is used to sign better known bands such as the Indigo Girls, which played at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, or No Doubt, which will play this year at Brown's Spring Weekend.

But the Harvard administration does not provide the council additional funding for bands or concerts.

Several Council members complained last night that Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps do not provide enough support for social activities.

"The administration just doesn't care," said Justin D. Lerer '99, a council member and Crimson editor. "Next time you see Lewis or Epps, tell them it's a shame they don't want students to have any fun."

Several council members argued that $9,000 was too much to spend on a little-known band. They suggested using the funds for other purposes, such as paying for alcohol, games or activities as ways to increase enthusiasm for Springfest.

"People just want beer," said Robert B. Wolinsky '97. "This is student money, let them have beer."

However, other representatives pointed out that only one-third of the student body can drink legally. They argued that bringing a band was a good way to draw students to the event.

"There is something terribly frivolous about spending $9,000 for an hour of entertainment," Olivia Verma '00 said. "But it's going to be great."

Last year the council spent about $9,000 to bring Pharcyde to campus. According to council members, the band's hip-hop music attracted students from different backgrounds who might not otherwise have attended the event.

The council said it is hoping to attract a similarly diverse group this year.

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