Voices On the Quad: Performing Arts Students Discuss Budget Cuts

Singers’ President Matt Regaldo, pictured here in a photo for the clubs Instagram account, shared his perspective. @SINGERSMC/COURTESY

By Alexandrea Velez, Staff Writer

Within the 2023-24 academic school year the majority of clubs and organizations on campus have faced budget cuts unlike any other year. Multiple clubs have had to either dismantle, create dues or create new strategies to cope through the year. 

The Quadrangle had the opportunity to talk to Singers, Players and ESports. Singers, a music group on campus that usually has a big trip for all their members and Lessons and Carols, a final show for parents, students and friends. Players holds all musicals and plays on campus throughout both semesters. The ESports teams compete month after month to receive their spot in the MAAC, an east coast gaming competition.

Mathew Regalado’ 25, President of Singers

The Quad: Are you doing less than Singers used to do before?

MR:  Money wise yeah. We have less money to work with, but we’re still trying to do everything as best we can. You know, live performances or stuff our clubs need to do such as order tuxedos and dresses for all of our singers. So, we need to keep that in mind as well. 

TQ: Why do you think numbers are dropping and the club is getting smaller?

MR: Enrollment is down and there are more commuters than there are residents now and that affects us pretty deeply because our rehearsals are at night. So, people don’t want to commute back home at night and that definitely affects our membership. What we’re trying to do as a board this year is keep our standards up and keep the music as good as possible and try to do as many performances as we can to make students more engaged. 

TQ: How has the main trip been affected by the budget cuts? Did plans have to change? 

MR: We all heard rumors about budget cuts towards the end of last year so as a board, we decided to hold off on making really super big plans until you know, the year started and even then, like years prior, we’ve heard about things like that coming up short. So, we decided to just hold off a little bit until the start of the year. And now that we have our budget, we can sort of plan out the rest of our year and do things accordingly.

Carmella Liscio, Assistant Director for Recreation and Wellness 

The Quad: What was the original budget that you have had in previous years? And what was it cut to? 

CL: While the budget is different, we are still so fortunate enough to have the same number of teams this year. We are actually adding one this year to have 5 now instead of 4! 

TQ:  How does this affect your plans/performance for the semester, especially regarding the MAAC? 

CL: The plan for this semester is to compete in 5 different games against the MAAC from October until March when we attend the MAAC tournament. We are competing in Super Smash Bros, Overwatch 2, Rocket League, League of Legends and adding Valorant. We are always looking to improve our performance every year! I am looking forward to seeing what the team is going to do this year. The captains are excellent leaders and it is going to be a great year. 

TQ: If any, what solutions have your team come up with? Do you guys need to fundraise, get sponsors or dues? 

 CL: Fundraising and sponsors are such great ways to raise money! The captains are taking initiative to make it happen this year. ESports was now added as a club sport, along with other sports, which is amazing news! All club sports pay dues, even at other schools across the country. 

Teresa Nunan ‘24, Producer of Players

The Quad: How have budget cuts influenced the musical and plays? 

Teresa Nunan: The budget decreased from over 20 thousand dollars to 4 thousand, and it was a crazy shock, but the club is doing everything we can to cope. We have had to switch our MainStage show to a show in the public domain, which means the rights are free to help save money. 

TQ: How has this affected the roles of the students?

TN: The commitment level is pretty much the same, we just also have a fundraising initiative that our board members are committing to. And if the gender membership wants to help they are more than welcome! Look out for a lot of Players fundraising!

TQ: Are Players attempting to get more money from the school or outside sources? 
TN: For the future it is a possibility that this budget could remain this low for years to come, so we are looking into grants. The grants would be from an outside source but the school has been helping us look. We are also having a GoFund me linked in our instagram @playersmc’s bio.