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Monday, May 23, 2022
<p>Senate President Micah Lewis approved the proposal to give SGP $90,000 out of SG reserve funds. The proposal also gives money to Gator Growl, Soulfest and the Florida Invitational Step Show.</p>

Senate President Micah Lewis approved the proposal to give SGP $90,000 out of SG reserve funds. The proposal also gives money to Gator Growl, Soulfest and the Florida Invitational Step Show.

The Student Senate voted Tuesday to give Student Government Productions $90,000 from Student Government reserve funds.

The money will be added to the existing SGP budget. Of the additional funding, $71,000 will go to Gator Growl, $15,000 will go the Florida Invitational Step Show and $4,000 will go to Soulfest.

Treasurer T.J. Villamil said the reserve fund totals about $3.5 million.

Reserve funds come from the activity and service fee paid by UF students.

Minority Leader Gillian Leytham said if Gator Growl needs more money, it should raise ticket prices.

"Students not going to Gator Growl should not have to pay for Gator Growl," she said.

Student tickets for Gator Growl cost $15. Gator Growl, which will be held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Nov. 4, attracts about 15,000 students, Villamil said.

Leytham said giving money to Gator Growl would benefit 30 percent of the Student Body at the most.

Villamil said the extra funding will help "bring pizzazz back to Growl" and help Soulfest and FISS with funding issues.

Villamil also pointed out that bringing the stage alone into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium costs about $300,000. He said there had been talk of raising ticket prices.

Gator Growl producer Aaron Heger said Gator Growl staff decided to bring a music act back to the pep rally after a 1,500-student survey indicated that 90 percent of students wanted a music act. There was no music act in 2010, which Heger said was partly a result of expenses.

He said bringing O.A.R., the band at Gator Growl in 2009, cost almost as much as all of the 2010 comedians combined.

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Heger said that at first, staff members didn't realize how much a music act would cost, but they had already started looking into hiring big-name bands when they realized the expense.

That's when SGP stepped in and offered to sponsor the band to help with costs and advertise SGP to the Student Body, Heger said.

Gator Growl staff announced in late July that the Goo Goo Dolls would perform at the pep rally.

After that, Villamil was able to discuss the funding with the other executive student government officers, bring the proposal to the Budget and Appropriations Committee and then present it to the Senate Tuesday night.

Without funding from SG and SGP, Heger said, ticket prices likely would have increased.

Senate President Micah Lewis approved the proposal to give SGP $90,000 out of SG reserve funds. The proposal also gives money to Gator Growl, Soulfest and the Florida Invitational Step Show.

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