Keep the Pride
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008
Sources: Amy Schultz, 785-532-6541, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bob Krause, 785-532-6912, email@example.com; Pat Bosco, 785-532-6237, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Frank Tracz, 785-532-3818, email@example.com
News released prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6451, firstname.lastname@example.org
K-STATE COMMUNITY JOINING TOGETHER TO SECURE LONG-TERM FUTURE OF THE K-STATE MARCHING BAND
MANHATTAN -- At a historic meeting this morning, Kansas State University student government leaders met with members of the K-State administration, intercollegiate athletics department, department of music, K-State Alumni Association and the Kansas State University Foundation to take steps to secure the long-term future of the Kansas State University Marching Band.
With K-State Student Governing Association approval, K-State student privilege fee funding of the marching band will be $140,000 for the next three years. During that time frame, the university, department of music, athletics department, K-State Alumni Association and Kansas State University Foundation will work together to secure more significant and permanent sources of funding for the band.
The ultimate goal, according to Amy Schultz, chair of the K-State Student Senate, is to greatly reduce or eliminate student privilege fee funding of the band altogether and switch it to more permanent funding that will help address many of the band's crucial long-term needs, including new uniforms, additional scholarships and replacement of instruments.
Schultz was responsible for arranging the meeting along with Robert Swift, K-State student body vice president, and Wayne Stoskopf, privilege fee committee chair.
"The Student Governing Association wanted to draw university-wide attention to the funding needs of our K-State Marching Band in its initial proposal to reduce the band's privilege fee support over the next three years," Schultz said. "Now, with the K-State community working together, student government is confident the band will soon be guaranteed a permanent funding solution outside student privilege fees."
"A true family always comes together to solve their problems, and that is what the K-State family has done today," said Bob Krause, director of athletics at K-State. "We have a great, great marching band and it deserves support university-wide. Our band members are true ambassadors of K-State not only at athletic events, but at community events and alumni events."
Pat Bosco, K-State vice president for student life and dean of students, praised student leaders for raising the issue of the band's support.
"This is the direct result of the K-State Student Governing Association's call for attention to a long-standing challenge regarding the funding of our great marching band," Bosco said. "I am so proud of our student leaders. K-State truly is a student-centered university. Our students are always part of the solution, not the problem. That's leadership and that's what makes K-State special."
"The outpouring of support for the marching band these past few days from K-State students, faculty, alumni and friends has been overwhelming. We have received between more than 7,000 calls and e-mails from people who want to see the marching band continue well into the future," said Frank Tracz, professor and director of bands at K-State. "I'm so pleased that we could come together today and start to develop ways that the band, which obviously means so much to so many K-Staters, will always be around."
Amy Renz, president and chief executive officer of the K-State Alumni Association, said alumni have been expressing their strong support of the marching band through calls and e-mails over the last few days.
"The K-State Marching Band is without question a highly visible and valuable asset to our university," Renz said. "It has been a privilege for the Alumni Association to work closely with the band and continue to show support for one of the most enduring symbols and traditions at K-State."
"We are confident that K-State's loyal alumni and friends will be eager to respond to this funding challenge in support of the Pride of Wildcat Land," said Mike Smith, vice president of development for the Kansas State University Foundation.
Also attending the meeting were Gary Mortenson, head of the department of music, and Gayle Spencer, assistant dean of student life and coordinator of student activities and services.
"The band's foundation and future of the K-State Pride of Wildcat Land have never been better," said K-State President Jon Wefald. "The university and student leadership got together and came up with a K-State solution to make sure our marching band remains the best marching band in America. This is the K-State way."
KTKA 49 News
SGA's first response
Dear Concerned Students, Parents, Alumni and Friends,
First, we applaud what the K-State Marching Band students contribute year in and year out.
We respect the number of hours spent rehearsing, performing, and working to enhance the
entire organization. We also respect the profound impact that being involved in the band
can have on one's collegiate experience.
There are several factors that came in to play when the K-State Privilege Fee Committee
made its recommendation this week.
The Office of Student Activities and Services compiled a comparison of how other Big 12
schools fund their bands. K-State is one of the only universities that directly contributes
student fee money for the marching band. Other bands receive their budget from a variety
of sources, including their music schools, athletic departments, foundation contributions,
fundraising efforts, university provosts, alumni offices, course fees, and university
president's offices. This is not to say that the K-State band does not already receive
contributions from other sources. Approximately $146,000 of the band budget is provided
by the Privilege Fee. In addition, the band's report to the Privilege Fee Committee includes
additional funding sources as follows:
1. President Wefald's office assists with the stipends for three Graduate Students, a full time
secretary and $20,000.
2. Athletic Department provides for the Assistant Director of Bands' salary ($40,000) and
lunch for the band on football game days.*
3. Fund Raising generates between $5,000 and $15,000 annually (although this year's
efforts have not been as successful due to the failing economy).
*note: additional funding that was not reported to the committee may be contributed by the
The committee felt that it was best to fund the band at a small decrease for the next fiscal
year, in order to give them more time to find and solidify other sources of funding and make
the necessary changes. The funding will be phased out over the next three fiscal years in
order to help facilitate this transition. The committee decreased funding for FY 2010 by
$6,000, which is the equivalent to the amount of funding that was spent on student awards
at the annual banquet last year. This was recommended because according to state
statutes, no more than $20 can be spent on a student in the form of an award. This was
made explicit in the last review three years ago. However, as reported, awards are
still bought for students using Privilege Fee money, including class rings, engraved name
plates, and blankets, each being reported as costing more than $20 each.
The committee believes that a decrease is necessary because the majority of K-State
students do not receive direct benefits from the band unless they attend athletic or
community sponsored events. The general consensus is that the band is vital to the
university, but that the funding should not continue to come from students that are facing
large increases in the cost of attending K-State. The band students already pay to take the
band course, as well as other costs associated with being involved, i.e. uniform repairs,
meals, travel, etc., not to mention the time commitment necessary for the band to succeed.
The Privilege Fee Committee is made up entirely of K-State students and is uniquely
charged with balancing the needs of K-State service providers and while also keeping the
costs of attending our university as low as possible. The committee has been discussing this
decision for the past three weeks in open meetings, and various leaders in SGA have met
directly with leaders from the band and athletic department.
The allocation for the current fiscal year is $146,057 from Privilege Fees paid for by every
student at K-State. Monday night, the Privilege Fee committee recommended the following
funding decreases for the KSU Bands. In the Fiscal year 2010 the Band would receive
$140,000, in Fiscal Year 2011 the funding would be reduced by 50% to $70,000, and in the
Fiscal Year 2012 the band would be funded $0. At that point, the Band would no longer be
considered a Privilege Fee Agency. This motion passed unanimously (15 to 0) from the
This recommendation is the first action that has been taken by the K-State Student
Governing Association. The legislation containing the recommended funding decrease will be
introduced to Student Senate this Thursday. The bill will be read and referred back to the
Privilege Fee Committee. At the following Student Senate meeting, SGA members will have
the opportunity to debate for or against the recommended funding prior to a vote. Student
input is welcomed at the next Privilege Fee Committee meeting or during the first open
period at the next Student Senate meeting. It is important to note that no final action has
In conclusion, please know that we support K-State students. The committee has made this
recommendation to recognize that band students who already pay to be a part of the band
should not be charged this additional fee, nor should students who area not affiliated with
the band. It cannot be argued that the band does not add to the atmosphere at K-State
athletic events, however, under half of the student body attends athletic events; in
fact, what students pay for football and men's basketball tickets is amongst the highest in
the Big 12 (we know these are not the only events the band performs at, but it is the only
count that we have been given). In the past, the Privilege Fee Committee has given large
increases to fund the needs of the band, but at this time we do not feel that is the
responsibility of K-State students. We are not attempting to eliminate the band. We are
encouraging all involved to understand that student dollars should not be the only answer to
funding an organization that benefits the university and community.
K-State Student Body President
SGA Student Senate Chair
K-State SGA Privilege Fee Chair
The Kansas State University band program needs your help. Our budget is currently in the process of being phased out over the next two years. The band’s budget of about $150,000 comes from the Student Governing Association as a part of a privilege fee. This means that every student who attends K-State pays about $4 to support the band. The SGA recently decided however that this was too much. As a result, the bands budget will be decreased by $6,000 this year, cut in half to $75,000 next year, and cut to 0 the following year. The reasoning behind this is that the band does not affect enough people, especially people who are not in the bands or who do not attend any of the many athletic events in which the band is present, to justify part of the privilege fee.
We need your help. That includes everyone. We must convince SGA that cutting our budget, which was already the lowest in the Big XII, is unacceptable. If you are a member of the band, an alumni of the band, or just a supporter of the band, whether an alumni of K-State or not, please help us. If you are a student who pays this privilege fee and are not a member of the band, we especially need your help.
There are many ways you can help. One of the easiest is to join this group and show SGA how many people from different areas support the band. Another is to e-mail the officers and members of SGA (who can be found by going to http://www.k-state.edu/osas/sga/ and clicking on officers on the left side of the page), and urge them to continue support for the band. Please, though, be respectful and courteous. While this is a slap in the face to many of us, we must be respectful in our comments.
As a quick reference, our $150,000 budget is (was) the lowest in the Big XII. We have operated on the same budget for the last six years. This budget pays for all the bands (Marching, Symphony, Concert, Cat, Volleyball, Pub, Jazz, others) and also pays for many things, including instruments, a director, half a secretary’s salary, and much more. Other schools budgets list as the following (2002-2003):
Texas A&M: $530,000.00
Texas Tech: $293,119.00
OK State: $242,200.00
Iowa State: $177,000.00
Please do not confuse this budget cut with the 7% budget cut that K-State in receiving from the state. SGA’s funding was not affected by this budget, and therefore the band’s budget should not be affected by it.
So if you have ever seen the band and enjoyed us, please help us out. We are not asking for a lot of your time or any of your money, just any help you can offer. If you feel that we have as much of a right to receive funding as any other organization, please offer your support. After all, come Saturday, the band will be the people at Bill Snyder Family Stadium before the sun rises. They will be the people in the stadium when it’s freezing (literally). They will be the people who, late in the game, after the stadium has turned more red than purple, are still chanting “Block that kick” and “K-S-U.” Finally, they will be the people leaving the stadium after the sun sets. And that’s only the marching band. The band makes a difference. Please help us