October 20, 2009

Summer Breeze outweighs star comedian in poll

Students voted down a proposed cutback to Summer Breeze funding this week in an online survey conducted by the Major Activities Board (MAB). The cutbacks would have been used to fund a larger winter comedy show.

“MAB might have the opportunity to bring a big-name comedian to campus, but if we pursue this, we will have to have a smaller Summer Breeze,” the poll, which was taken by 301 students, read.

The comedian would have been “on the level of [Stephen] Colbert,” MAB chair and fourth-year Liat Bird said, though she could not name the comedian due to a confidentiality agreement.

According to Bird, MAB had an opportunity to bring the comedian at a reasonable price given his stature, but were torn on cutting funding from Summer Breeze, a perennial favorite on campus.

“We were pretty much 50-50 split,” she said. “We just didn’t want to make the decision based off just the 17 of us.”

The poll, conducted between October 12 and 17, drew a small sampling of the student body. Bird said the results were as good as could be expected given the “really short amount of time” MAB had to get back to the comedian.

Nonetheless, Bird said the results would not have been different if the poll surveyed more students. “I asked around a little and everybody had a different person they were willing to do it for—‘If only it was Jon Stewart, ‘If only it was this one person!’” she said.

However, Bird said that while this year’s budget was smaller than in the past due to the recession, if MAB receives enough funding to support a “reasonably sized” Summer Breeze as well as book the big-name comedian, the organization will work to attract a comedy star.