UChicago Hype (HYPE), a student group that organizes on- and off-campus events aimed at improving student life, held its second annual Mystic Blue Yacht Party at Navy Pier last Thursday.
The group launched as an RSO and hosted its first yacht party last year, after board members sought an event that would expose undergraduate and graduate students to nightlife beyond academic pursuits. “We wanted to create an ambiance different from regular campus activities,” HYPE cochair and fourth-year Paula Mejia said.
The event stirred controversy for the second straight year, as some students questioned the decision to shift $6,000 in SG annual funding allocated to HYPE for a program at the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MCA) to the yacht party, after the group’s leadership found that the MCA event was not financially feasible. Last year, College Council contested the SG Finance Committee’s decision to grant HYPE $6,471 for the first party, questioning the event’s value and the close ties between HYPE board members and some SG Finance Committee and Executive Slate members.
While several RSOs contributed funds to the yacht party last year, and the Council on University Programming (COUP) donated $200, HYPE relied on annual allocations to host this year’s yacht party partly because SGFC denied funds to the proposed event, according to HYPE members. “Unlike COUP, MAB [Major Activites Board], or Fire Escape Films, who receive funds from the Program Coordinating Council, HYPE has no major source of funding, so it always seems like we ask for more money for our events,” HYPE co-chair Theo Rodman said.
Despite the funding situation, many students who attended last week’s yacht party enjoyed the event, citing the live DJs and food as reasons. HYPE considered the event a success, saying that students continued to inquire about attending, even after the group sold out the 250 tickets granting admittance to the party.