For the first time since 2003, WBOR will not be bringing a spring concert to campus. The Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) pulled funding for the concert last week after a change in the act, which was not reported to the SAFC.

WBOR originally planned to have hip-hop artist Shwayze perform April 3, but that concert fell through at the last moment.

"Everything was set to go on our end by late February and we were just waiting for our signed contract back from Shwayze, but the agent never got back to us," said WBOR Co-Station Manager Andrew Sudano '10. "It was really weird. It seemed like the booking agent was being very shady. It was a weird situation."

After Shwayze's agency stopped returning its phone calls, WBOR management was forced to quickly look for another act to replace him.

"We thought, 'what concert can we throw given the limited time we have to plan that will be comparable to Shwayze?' and after about a week of deliberations, management decided on Bilal, who we thought would attract a similar crowd to that of Shwayze," said Sudano.

WBOR began work booking Bilal, a neo-soul jazz singer, but failed to contact SAFC with its change in plans until after placing a bid with Bilal.

Normally, WBOR books artists using its operating budget, provided by SAFC. When it uses its operating budget, WBOR has relative freedom and flexibility choosing acts as long as it is still within its budget.

For the spring concert, however, SAFC decided that WBOR must use the SAFC discretionary fund to finance the concert. Unlike with the operating budget, SAFC required that WBOR fill out a form with SAFC to propose the Shwayze concert and then check back in with SAFC frequently.

When the Shwayze concert fell through, WBOR immediately got to finding a new act to book at the last minute. According to Sudano, WBOR management was not familiar with the SAFC discretionary fund procedure, and failed to check in with SAFC until after it placed a bid with Bilal.

"We didn't check with them when booking Bilal," said Sudano. "We didn't think we had to. We did, I guess, have to. I'm not sure how I feel about that technicality but it is what it is."

When WBOR did notify the SAFC of their plans to pursue Bilal, the SAFC decided against funding the concert.

"Traditionally, they are free to spend their money how they want," said SAFC Chair Kyle Dempsey '11 of WBOR. "However, we allocated money for Shwayze, which was a very specific artist. Because that concert fell through and due to the timing of events at the end of this year, we said it's probably not the greatest idea for you to bring an artist at this point in the year."

WBOR planned to have Bilal perform April 23, which is the weekend before Ivies. The concert directors could not stick with the date Shwayze was set to perform, April 3, because they would have had to book the act and advertise it in only a week.

WBOR met with SAFC on Monday to present their case in the hopes that SAFC would reverse their original decision and provide funding. With a vote of 5-1, SAFC decided after the meeting to still withhold funding.

SAFC reasoned that the event was too close to Ivies and that Bilal would not draw the same large crowd that Shwayze would have. They felt that Shwayze was better known than Bilal and in a different genre of music, so the two acts were not comparable.

"Maybe he isn't quite as popular and isn't quite as well known but it would still be a good concert," said Sudano. "The show would have been booked by now and we would have been advertising full force."

"I feel really bad because I know they put in so much work, and we are not in any way chastising WBOR," said Dempsey. "But due to the circumstances, and due to the management situation with Shwayze, the end of April is not a good time. It has nothing to do with how we feel about WBOR...The only major difference is the timing of the event and the difference between who the original artist was and who the new artist is."

SAFC originally allocated $15,000 to WBOR for the spring concert, and now that the concert is canceled, SAFC will use that money to fund other small events around campus until the end of the year.

During the Monday meeting, Dempsey asked, "What would be best for the students? Funding a big concert or funding 23 other small events?"

Later in the meeting, he continued, "If we take the money back, then we can fund everything that comes to the SAFC 'til the end of the year and if we don't, we have to cut a large portion of what comes in these next few weeks. There's definitely enough money to do the concert and some events but what that would mean is literally cutting over half of everything that comes into the SAFC for the next two weeks."

The removal of funds left Sudano wondering if SAFC was running out of funds and was canceling the concert in order to get the $15,000 back.

"Money promised versus money spent, I feel like there is a sort of lapse there," said Sudano. "I'm not accusing them of doing anything they shouldn't be doing. It seems like it is not intentional that they are screwing clubs over. I don't think that's happening. It seems more like there is some sort of issue keeping track of funds."

"A big problem this year has been these operating budget clubs not staying within their budgets, which is sort of out of our control," said Dempsey. "If they run out of money or spend too much money, then it puts a strain on us that we are not supposed to have."

As of last week's SAFC meeting, the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) requested $12,000 and the E-Board requested $8,000. They were granted $10,000 and $6,000, respectively, which Dempsey said "put a clink into our funding plans overall." After these allocations, SAFC still had $11,000 left, not including the $15,000 returned by WBOR.

The BOC requested funds from SAFC after going $12,000 over-budget. Dempsey said this was a result of the College cutting 10 percent of their funding in the fall and the BOC being unable to foresee how much this cut would impact their trips and programs.

Dempsey noted that the SAFC made its original decision to not grant funding for the spring concert before knowing the BOC would request this amount of funding, and that the BOC going over-budget had no impact on the denial of the spring concert.

Dempsey said that clubs go over their operating budgets every year due to "stuff that would be extremely difficult to avoid."

"We allocate funds a year in advance, so it's difficult for the clubs to foresee how things will change," said Dempsey.

According to Student Activities Program Advisor Christine Drasba, the removal of funds from WBOR and the recent occurrence of clubs going over their operating budget "were not directly correlated."

"It was not a direct correlation that this money had to go here, so it can't go to the WBOR," said Drasba.

As for the future of the annual WBOR spring concert, Sudano said he plans to work with SAFC to ensure that in the future, the organization can use its operating budget to finance the concert, instead of the SAFC discretionary fund.