For next semester, SEB is requesting a $16,000 increase in funds from SGA. Senior sociology and Africana studies major Andrea Davissays says that this money will go towards an increase in pay for all SEB employees, and that, although it may look like a lot, will only amount to a $50 biweekly increase in pay to each employee. They will know by early June, most likely, if this request has been approved.
So, why push for this increase now? According to Davis, it has been estimated that 65 percent of SEB’s board has two or more jobs. “We understand that there has been a shift in culture,” she explains. “So many students are now having to finance their own education. So many students are now self-reliant and self-dependent, and if we can help out in any way, that’s why we’re asking for it.” She also notes that this is also the first time they have requested an increase in funding in ten years. Generally speaking, the organization is efficient with their finances, whether that means making food for events rather than hiring a caterer or searching for the most affordable vendors from which to rent rides for Quadmania.
From the perspective of event programmer Mayra Perez, a sophomore pre-nursing student, the increase in pay would be nice compensation for the time commitment the organization requires. But she also stresses that her main motivation for being a part of the organization is that she’s doing something she loves. “We’re having fun doing this,” she says. “And we love that we get to connect the community, which is really cool.”
With Quadmania just on the horizon, many SEB employees are now working on ironing out the final details, but the event has been in the works for months. The musical artist whose Sunday concert serves as the keynote event of the festivities (this year, it is 21 Savage; past years have featured Snoop Dogg, Ke$ha, and T-Pain) was picked in January.
Various factors go into choosing the performer, including cost and how recently the artist has played in the area. “A problem that we run into a lot is Coachella,” Davis says. “It’s also around this time and a lot of artists that are popular are going to be wherever Coachella is going to be.” $120,000 is allotted to be spent on the concert, in contrast with the $10,000 SGA allots for all the events held earlier in the week.
In the final weeks before Quadmania, there are still a handful of things being finalized; marketers are working on publicizing the event with the most up-to-date information possible and small things like prizes are still arriving in the SEB office. Communication is key at this point in the process: “the logistics team is just making sure we create these very large spreadsheets, so they know exactly where they have to be, when they have to be here and what they have to do,” says Davis. The task, from an outsider’s perspective, seems gargantuan.
In the end, though, SEB is a group of students taking their idea of what they want to see on their campus and making it a reality. “We’re honestly just an outlet of fun. We do crazy random things all the time, and if there’s any opportunity for us to provide free food or free anything to the students, that’s what we’re going to do,” says Davis. Perez agrees. “It makes me feel really good that you can do something that people like on campus and [they can] get some free stuff,” she says. “Who doesn’t like that?”
NOTE: All numbers in this article provided by SEB.