by Joe Adgie
The SGA traded off help for a $450 fee on Monday night.
This $450 fee was directed to the Film and Video society for the screening of “Land of Higher Peace”, a Q&A with filmmaker Mark Ezra Stokes, and the rights for VSU students to screen the film whenever they want.
For the $450 aid, the organization promised the SGA help for any promotional videos in the future.
“If you are willing, I would like to offer my organization’s help to produce any sort of video,” Rizal Buckingham, Film and Video Society member, said. “We’re always more than happy to bring our own equipment.”
Senators were originally not enthusiastic about giving the $450 to the organization, with Senator Edgar James expressing doubt that the money would go to an event that would benefit VSU as a whole.
“It doesn’t seem to benefit the (student) body as a whole, as far as catering to the needs of our students,” James said.
James also mentioned the small capacity (30 seats) of the room that this event will take part in, and noted that maybe the event would cater to just 30 students.
Senator Tamelonie Thomas also noted that the Q&A would primarily concern the making of the film, rather than the subject matter of the film itself, which is about, according to imdb.com, “the daily challenges Ethiopians face through the eyes of a group of well-meaning Americans in the small northern town of Gondar.”
“I know we have a very good student body here, who are mass media students, but I honestly don’t feel like that this film will be educational or really vital for the SGA to have our money budgeted to it.”
Thomas also noted that she was excited to see the film, after having done mission work in Kenya.
Senator Heather Washington, meanwhile, did find one thing that would have benefitted the VSU community.
“The only thing that actually looks like it would actually benefit VSU would be the copy of the film,” Washington said. “If I’m not a mass media major, I’m not sure if I would even show up (to the film screening and Q&A).”
Washington advocated “maybe getting the word out,” but was opposed to funding anything outside of the rights to the film.
Senator Breanna Lawrence noted the SGA could take a look at how organizations have tried to raise money before going to them.
“We definitely have to take that into consideration with other organizations,” Lawrence said. “What have you done to help yourself first before you get help from other people?”
Lawrence advocated giving $150—which would be the rights fees for VSU students to screen the movie whenever they wanted.
Senator Matt Lovelace, however, favored the full amount for the benefit that the Mass Media department would bring to the SGA, in regards to promotional videos that would be shot in the future.
“Mass Media has access to a lot of filmmaking and promotional styled things,” Lovelace said. “It may be worth our money to invest in them so we have some added resources in advertising and marketing for SGA.”
Senator Valencia Warren agreed.
“This would be a huge help to the PR committee as far as the video editing is concerned,” Warren said. “It would be great for our YouTube channel and getting out to students.”
Amendments were proposed to bring the dollar amount down to $300, and then to $250, but Lovelace advocated again for the full $450 due to the promised benefit to the SGA from the mass media department.
“The quality of work that the mass media department does is worth a lot of money,” Lovelace said. “We are now limiting the funds we are giving and asking for help. I think it is a bit unfair to limit the amount of money that we are giving and asking them to help us. So instead of limiting us to one event or a couple of events or one YouTube channel, why not give the entire $450 and then asking for continuous help in marketing for the SGA.”
The SGA soon afterwards voted for the full $450 to be given.