SPB is responsible for providing entertaining and educational activities in the form of concerts, comedians, and special events. These programs work to help create a more vibrant campus community and emphasize Student Union’s mission of service to the campus community and to the undergraduate students. SPB is responsive to the diverse interests and programming needs of the campus community.

Our Budget:

As the main programming entity of Student Union, SPB’s budget is about 19% of the SU general budget and is allocated directly by Senate and Treasury during the General Budget Session. Our most recent funding for the 2018 Fiscal Year is $641,037.89, or about $83 per student. This funding is used for the entire school year and split between our various events and divisions such as WILD, Concerts, Comedy, Happy Hour, Film, Special Events, and others.

For information on our current expenditures and budgets, please visit SU Finance or contact our VP Finance at vpfinance@spb.wustl.edu.

Our Talent Survey Process:

This process is used for all talent surveys. Currently SPB is auditing the survey vote counting process to ensure its effectiveness.

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The respective SPB Director receives a list of artists from the middle agent. The list contains artists that are available according to their professional schedule and have an initial asking price that is within the respective Talent budget for the semester. SPB then researches each artist provided according to the SPB Vetting Process, described in our Constitution in Article VIII Section 7:
a. The SPB Vetting Process will ensure that the artists that SPB brings to the Student Body are in line with the values of the campus community and student population.
b. During the Talent Survey Process Section of the SPB Bylaws, SPB will complete the SPB Vetting Process.
c. Each Member of the SPB Executive Board will be assigned a number of artists to research by the respective SPB Director and the President.
d. The directors will screen the artists for any potential conflicts with Washington University’s strong community values of diversity and inclusion.
e. Once the artists have been researched by SPB, SPB will go through each artist’s research notes and the artist shall be discussed by the SPB Executive Board. A 4/5 vote is required to keep the artist on the survey.
f. Once the SPB Executive Board has voted on each artist, SPB will move on to the next step of the Talent Survey process as described the Constitutional Bylaws.
Once the SPB Vetting Process is completed, SPB then votes to approve all remaining artists to include them on the survey. Once this is done, SPB will provide the final survey list to the Diversity council (To be formed and named by Senate in SP2019) to ensure it is representative of the diverse interests of the student body. Once the survey has been approved, SPB votes to confirm this list as the final survey list by a ⅔ vote. The Outreach Director then prepares and releases the survey to the Student Body.

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After the survey is closed, the SPB Outreach director calculates the Survey results. Since students are asked to rank their top 5 artists, SPB calculates the results using all rankings. Using an example of a survey with 5 artists, this is how SPB calculates the final artist rankings:

With a total vote count of 4000 votes, the maximum each artist can get per choice ranking is 4000 votes. The first choice total votes for each artist is multiplied by 1, then the second choice by 0.9, then the third choice by 0.8, then the fourth by 0.7, then the fifth by 0.6. Each of these numbers is added up per each artist then totaled. Therefore votes in choices other than first can have an effect on each artist’s total.

Artist 1st Choice Votes 2nd Choice Votes 3rd Choice Votes 4th Choice Votes 5th Choice Votes Final Vote count
A 2000 2200 1000 700 500 5570
B 1000 1500 500 300 500 3260
C 500 100 1000 1000 1000 2690
D 300 100 900 1000 1000 2410
E 200 100 600 2000 1000 2770
Total Votes per choice 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000

For example, for artist A, the process would be as follows:
(2000 first choice votes * 1) + (2200 second choice votes * 0.9) + (1000 third choice votes * 0.8) + (700 fourth choice votes * 0.7) + (500 fifth choice votes * 0.6) = 5570 votes
After the calculation of the artists total votes, the ranking is: A, B, E, C, D.

 

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Using the final ranking of the artist, the respective SPB Director will then work with the middle agent to draft an offer to the first ranked artist from the survey. If the artist keeps their asking price within the respective SPB Talent Budget and is still available on their personal calendar, SPB will then send the offer to the first ranked artist. If the offer is declined/raised to a counteroffer price beyond SPB’s budget or these two criteria are not fulfilled, then SPB will move on to the next highest ranked artist and repeat the process until the headliner accepts our offer. Once the offer is accepted, SPB then works with campus life to finalize the artist’s contract. The respective SPB Director, using remaining funds in the budget receives a list of possible openers from the middle agent. The artists will then undergo the SPB Vetting Process. For WILD, the SPB WILD Director then works with the rest of the SPB Executive Board to select openers that offer different music genres and backgrounds from the WILD headliner. This process is carried out by a vote of the SPB Executive Board to rank the opener options. The WILD director will then draft an offer to each artist in the same way the headliner artist is selected. Once the openers are confirmed, their contracts are finalized with campus life. Then, SPB will release the artist for the event.

Once the artist has been selected using the process described above, SPB goes to work on preparing the event. The SPB Promotions Director prepares social media and promotional materials. The SPB Production director will contact all vendors and will prepare staging and security. The Programming Director for the event will work together with the artist’s agent to prepare hospitality. Also, the Outreach Director will work to secure sponsors for the event. During this time, SPB prepares all necessary materials and logistics for the event.