What does it take to put on Ivies?
Months of planning, hours of staff overtime and a $129K budget
April 27, 2017
While Ivies officially kicked off with last night’s concert, planning began months ago. The Student Activities Office, Facilities Management and the Office of Safety and Security have been discussing Ivies for months—and staff will be working around the clock this weekend to make sure students have a safe and enjoyable experience.
This year, the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) allocated $129,500 for the weekend’s budget which goes to the Entertainment Board (eBoard) and Bowdoin Student Government (BSG). The Orient could not obtain a clear breakdown of the cost of each aspect of Ivies, but the eBoard spends the majority of this budget on booking musical acts. Additional costs include Facilities work orders for setup and clean up, extra staff and overtime pay for Security, Dining and Facilities employees and at least $4,500 for food trucks.
Ivies is almost entirely paid for with money from the SAFC, whose budget is paid for by a $484 fee in each student’s tuition bill, according to Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze.
“This year, the only funds from the College will go to helping to pay for a food truck on Friday,” Hintze said.
Planning begins with the eBoard’s survey in September, which samples the student body’s music opinions. After assessing student preferences, the eBoard selects musical acts.
“We place bids based on the outcome of the survey, and from there people say yes or no, or ask for more money or less money—they never ask for less money,” Hintze said. “And sometimes we say, ‘Yeah we can cover that in our budget,’ or sometimes we have to go on to somebody else. And we go back and forth, the eBoard comes up with their lineup, and from there I write up the contracts and work with the treasurer’s office to get them signed.”
Planning for Ivies involves many hours and negotiations with several different parties.
“It could be a full time job,” Hintze said.
Bowdoin hires an agent to attract acts and help negotiate details of the musical contracts, which include accommodations and performers’ arrival and departure times; Hintze and his staff take care of the hotel bookings. Hintze works with Moonlighting Production, a local production company, to sort out sound and lighting equipment and coordinates with Facilities, Dining, Security and a tent rental company. Each year, he reserves a 80-by-150 foot tent in case of rain.
There is also a company that sets up barricades in front of the stages. Student Activities books hotels for them as well.
Hintze and Student Activities staff will be working the events all weekend.
Security began its intensive planning about a month ago, according to Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
“We have detailed operations, planning and operations orders that highlight how we deploy our resources. So, we know where most of the events are taking place—certainly the ones that are supposed to take place—and we have staff [at] several of them,” Nichols said.
This weekend, every available officer on the Security patrol staff of over 20 members, as well as shuttle drivers, will be on the job. Many will work double shifts.
“Our overtime budget takes a little bit of a hit during Ivies. All available officers are assigned,” Nichols said.
Nichols will be taking periodic naps on a cot he keeps in his office.
Facilities is responsible for the setup of the weekend’s events, starting with assembling the stage in David Saul Smith Union on Wednesday. On Friday, a crew moves it to Farley Field House in trucks. Facilities will blanket the Field House with giant tarps to protect the turf and position trash cans in locations where students might be drinking.
When Ivies weekend is over, Facilities takes everything down to ensure that athletic teams can resume practice on Monday. Housekeeping also works extra to clean up the messes that students leave behind in the common areas of dorms and College Houses.
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