By now, the once-discouraging phrase, “due to the economic downturn,” has become nothing more than commonplace. Instead of being disappointed by the loss of beloved Stanford traditions, many students are now simply waiting to hear which aspect of their Stanford life will be the next to be postponed until next year. From the elimination of HPACs to the downscaling of New Student Orientation programming, much of Stanford student life has gone down the drain with the economy. For the Mausoleum Party, however, there may still be hope.
Soon after ASSU elections last year, the junior class presidents knew that planning Mausoleum Party would be difficult. Never before had the junior class been given the responsibility of fully funding this campus-wide event. The planning of major events such as Full Moon on the Quad and Mausoleum Party has been the purview of class slates for years, but until now it was the university that provided the necessary funds. Until its depletion at the end of last year, the “Absolute Fun Fund” existed to provide money for these events. Now, however the junior class presidents must search for alternate sources of funding.
The junior class slate has allocated $2,500 of its much-reduced $16,685 budget for Mausoleum. Based on the logic that junior class funds should be used primarily for junior class events, the class presidents feel that this allocation is more than generous. If most of their budget went to Mausoleum, the junior class would be left with a less-than-impressive formal, and President Dante DiCicco ’11 feels that the juniors should not have to compromise their class experiences for this academic year.
With this goal of maintaining junior class traditions, the junior class slate has been seeking the cooperation of other student groups in funding the party. After sending a proposal to the Appropriations Committee during the first week of school, their request was met with an offer of $3,000, but as this amount does not fully cover the $14,000 event, the junior class presidents approached the Undergraduate Senate to ask for additional financial support. Their pleas were met with a mixture of sentiments.
According the Senate meeting notes for September 29, while the group expressed the desire to contribute to Mausoleum funds, many senators, like Zachary Warma ’11, noted that providing for the party should be a collaborative effort among different groups and that the Senate cannot fund the event on its own. Others, like Financial Manager McLaughlin, went even further, suggesting that a precedent should be set about which groups to fund.
Despite many senators’ calls for stricter policies on the funding of different groups, the ASSU still managed to provide $1,500 for the party.
The sophomore class presidents proved to be more empathetic to the needs of the junior class slate than the senators. In a meeting with their cabinet members, the sophomore class presidents stated, “It would be a shame to see another tradition postponed until next year,” and for that reason they have successfully submitted a proposal to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) that will replenish funding that was cut from the freshman, sophomore, and junior class budgets with money that was originally earmarked for Full Moon on the Quad.
According to Sophomore President Adrian Castillo ’12, “the VPSA has agreed to give $3,500 to the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes, for this academic year only, for their use. This negates the amount cut from their budgets for this academic year.”
For most students, the concern of the matter is not where the funds for the party come from, but rather whether Mausoleum Party will even happen.
“Even though I’ve been to Mausoleum Party for the past three years, it would still be disappointing to miss out on one more event during my last year as an undergrad,” states senior Heidi Farrell.
Others, like Aditi Maliwal ’12, claim that the party should still go on even if it means cutting back on the normal extravagance.
With $3,500 from the sophomore class, $3,000 from the Appropriations Committee proposal, $1,500 from the Executive, and $2,500 of the junior class’s budget, the current funding for Mausoleum should total $10,500, a figure $3,500 short of the budget from previous years, but nonetheless a promising amount that holds a positive future for this October event. Even though the tight budget may result in a more scaled-back Halloween party, the collaboration of campus groups and overall enthusiasm for this spooky Stanford tradition will most likely keep Mausoleum Party on the calendar for October 31.