Shippensburg University’s Activities Program Board (APB) is working toward changes that its staff hopes will make events more affordable for students.
According to APB President Chase Fisher, the organization has a yearly commitment to pay back about $40,000 to the Student Government Association (SGA) and Shippensburg University Student Services, Inc. APB charges students more money than it would like for events to meet this requirement, Fisher said.
Although APB is able to meet its income commitment each year, the organization believes that it is leaving out students who do not have the money to spend on trips, concerts and games.
“We feel like we’re excluding other students,” Fisher said.
He added that other schools’ program boards typically charge students $5-10 per ticket because they do not have income commitments to meet. Tickets to an APB event may be two or three times that price because part of the organization’s focus is paying back the money it owes, according to Fisher.
Money that is leftover at the end of the year from APB’s budget also goes back to SGA. Any extra money that the organization makes is placed in a restricted account that the staff can use to make office improvements.
“We don’t have a problem meeting [the income commitment],” Fisher said. “We just don’t think it should be a thing.”
An APB survey earlier this semester showed a correlation between students who said they wish events were more affordable and the portion of the student body that may not have the financial means to attend these events, according to former President Evan Redding.
“We just want people to have an easy decision on whether they’re going to go [to events].” Fisher said.
Fisher said the income commitment also makes APB hesitant to try new events, because they must ensure that they are making enough money to pay back.
“We stick with Philly sports, the NYC trip…we can’t be as risky,” he said.
APB met with SGA’s Budget and Finance Committee twice this year to discuss their income commitment, as well as the possibility of lowering or eliminating it entirely. The discussion will continue next year with the new committee, according to Fisher.
Former SGA Treasurer Raven Francis said they are exploring a new income commitment model which would allow APB to let students into events admission-free, while collecting revenue based on general admission attendance.
SGA Treasurer Ramses Ovalles said he thinks it will be beneficial for new committee members to examine APB’s request. He added that he is not opposed to lowering the income commitment, but said it takes time to make a decision of that nature.
“I think it would be good for the new Budget and Finance Committee to look at it since [APB] requested it to be lowered,” Ovalles said.