Tuesday night, the Hooper Eblen Center will be packed with students eager to see the Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon and Jeff Leblanc in concert.Though the event is only a few days away, planning for it has been an ongoing task since November. The concert has been a combined effort of SGA, the Student Organization Life Opportunity Fund and Student Activities.
Katie Williams, University Planning coordinator, has also taken a lead role in planning for the concert.
“I’ve done Dancing on Dixie since 2005,” Williams said, “and I help in putting together a concert every spring. Those don’t involve nearly as much as this concert, though. I, personally, have never done anything on this scale, and it’s been a long time since the school has had anything this big.
“With a concert of this size, there are also a lot of contracts that have to go out,” Williams said. “For example, I have to get a car service for the Goo Goo Dolls, which is something I’ve never had to do with artists before. With Dancing on Dixie or our usual spring concerts, the artists usually just drive up and start unloading their cars.”
Not only are there concerns with contracts and services, but also logistics that must be worked out on campus. The Hoop will be arranged so that approximately 6,000 people can sit in the stands, and 500 people will be allowed on the floor.
Also, the event will require at least 35 student-volunteers, most of whom will be SGA senators.
In addition to accommodating spectators, there are security concerns that must be addressed with any event of this size.
“We are working with the Cookeville Police Department and our own University Police,” Williams said. “I don’t expect any problems, but if something does happen, it’s good to know that they will be ready to respond.”
While most aspects of planning fell into place with relative ease, planning for the concert certainly had its setbacks.
“Getting an artist is probably one of the biggest roller coasters of planning a concert,” Williams said, “because you kind of get your heart set on a particular name, but they may be on tour or in the studio, so plans have to change. I have to say, though, that I am so excited that it’s almost here and we will finally get to see our efforts coming to fruition.”
While the SOLO fund has received a lot of publicity with the upcoming concert, major on-campus events are not the only purpose of the fund.
Of the funds received from students, 75 percent goes to the Super Fund and is used to put on major events like the upcoming concert. The other 25 percent is for the Minor Fund and can be disbursed to any student organization that is recognized by Tech. Through the Minor Fund, an organization can receive up to $1,000 to put on a free event that is open to all students. This money can go for T-shirts, fliers, food from Chartwell’s, and many other items that help promote the organization and benefit the student body.
The fund will not cover the purchase of alcohol or events at which students are charged admission fees. If an organization does try to charge admission for a SOLO-funded event, it will have to repay the SOLO committee for any funds granted.
“The purpose of this fund is to boost student retention by giving the students things to do and hopefully keep them interested,” Lee Gatts, SGA treasurer and SOLO Fund Allocations Committee chairperson. “We feel that if there are a lot of events happening on campus, it will make the college experience better for students.”
In order to receive funding, the organization has to file an application with the SOLO committee. After the application is filed, it must be approved by the SOLO committee before the request goes to Student Affairs.
Student Affairs will then submit requests and directly purchase anything that was approved in the application. One benefit of this system is that items can be purchased tax-free through the University, stretching event funds a little farther.
More information and the application for SOLO funds can be found at www.tntech.edu/sga/forms.