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RHA considers cutting movie channel from yearly budget

At the Drake University Residence Hall Association executive meeting on Nov. 29, members of the board discussed cutting both the welcome weekend “drive-in movie” and the movie channel from its budget next year.

After passing a funding request for a gingerbread project in Carpenter Hall, members of the board planned the “Drake’s Got Talent” show and then discussed these two high-budget items.

“I talked to my [programming] board before this and they all suggested the movie channel be kept but nix the welcome weekend movie,” Vice President of RHA Michael Porterfield said.

Treasurer Leah Torrison explained that RHA’s budget varies based on the number of students living in the residence halls, saying RHA started this year with $19,656. A good portion of that — $12,473 — was taken right off the top to pay for the Drake movie channel that serves residents.

President of Morehouse Hall Eric Ferring thought more innovation in programming could be implemented with money diverted from the movie channel.

“People want more of a variety of programs all over campus instead of just movies all the time,” he said. “More money, more creativity.”

Campus Communications Coordinator Stephen Slade debated the same thing.

“RHA should be about community building. How many people actually take advantage of [the movie channel] as opposed to attending events?” he asked.

President of the Residence Hall Association Sean Walsh brought feedback on welcome weekend.

“Surveys indicate a lot of comments are positive about the movie, there was a lot of positive response and attendance,” Walsh said.

“Our motto is ‘making halls into homes’ and so people must feel comfortable in their homes and have programming that they can go to and enjoy,” Walsh said, explaining RHA’s purpose.

Torrison said RHA exists to build community and provide alternatives to alcohol on the weekends.

At the RHA meeting on Monday night, the welcome weekend movie was unanimously cut.

While the movie channel was a point of contention, most seemed to agree that the welcome weekend drive-in movie in Helmick Commons should be replaced with a better program.

The movie cost approximately $3,000 to put on and around 100 students showed up, equating to about $30 per ticket.

President of Ross Hall Marti Wolf summed up the board’s conversation well.

“I love the Drake movie channel so much, it makes me so happy, but with the welcome weekend movie, you’re not going to meet anyone there,” Wolf said. “I think they could do other things. I think it’s not worth that much money.”

Publicity Chair Adam Lutz also inquired where the Residence Hall Association’s money would go if the programs were cut.

“Right now we have a lot of money, right? I just think that if we cut this stuff, we’re going to have a lot more money and we won’t know what we’ll spend it on,” Lutz said.

The movie channel will likely be coming up for debate during the spring semester. Interested students are asked to voice their opinions to their hall’s executive council or at one of the RHA executive meetings.

Students can also contact the RHA vice president Michael Porterfield directly at michael.porterfield@drake.edu.

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