Students have not yet been formally asked to contribute any funds toward this year's Spring Gala, but the Office of Student Activities is still hoping that classes and College Houses will be able to contribute a substantial amount of money to the event.

According to Office of Student Activities Program Advisor Braulio Peguero, in 2005 and the years preceding, class officers were informed at the beginning of the school year of a pre-determined contribution that they were expected to make to the gala budget.

This money, along with small contributions from college houses and the sale of $10 tickets, significantly subsidized the cost of the event. After calculating contributions and expenses, the gala committee would present a budget to the Student Affairs Funding Committee, and it picked up the rest of the expenses.

Last year's Gala, however, was fully funded by the Student Activities Office, though that is not the case this year.

"The Student Activities Office was able to fully subsidize the Gala last year, without having to ask classes or college houses for financial contributions," Peguero wrote in an e-mail to the Orient. "Sadly, that was a one-time occurrence."

According to Peguero, there is a higher level of student involvement in the planning of this year's Gala, especially in comparison to last year's event. A new committee of seven students from the first-year, sophomore, and junior classes began meeting in February.

Classes and houses may still be able to contribute money to fund the event this year, though it is less feasible for them to do so when asked at this point in the school year.

"Classes used to get asked for money at the very beginning," said Class of 2007 President DeRay McKesson. He explained that while it is difficult to contribute $750 (the sum requested by the Gala Committee) at any point in the year, it is especially hard later in the year.

Concerning the Class of 2007, McKesson said "we would have to be extremely creative to rearrange money and still have a senior class gift and do senior week. The timing for the request is not ideal."

However, McKesson did assure that when the classes are formally asked for money, they would do their best to come up with it.

"We haven't been formally asked any amount yet," he said.

Classes most likely will be asked sometime in the very near future.

"Ideally, the classes and houses would be able to contribute enough that tickets to the Gala would be free for students," said Peguero.