University Programs Council (UPC) will not host its annual spring concert, Auburn Airwaves, this year.
"UPC decided to take a step back this year by evaluating their concert and how the generous portion of the student activity fee allocated to the program is used," a representative said in a statement this week. "To learn how to be better stewards of the money UPC receives, they began a benchmarking process find the most efficient planning procedures and to improve concert execution."
The concert is usually funded through the $45 Student Activity Fee students pay each semester. SGA proposed a referendum that would increase the fee to $54 next semester, and would gradually rise to $69 per semester by 2022. However, on election day last month, students voted “no” to increasing the fee. Haley Horn, UPC's director of major entertainment, said the decision not to hold the concert was made before the election took place and was unrelated to the referendum.
Instead, Horn said, the organization decided to start a "benchmarking process" to evaluate how Auburn Airwaves compares to other university concerts.
"All of our funding comes from the Student Activity Fee," Horn said. "That's not something we take lightly."
The concert faced criticism from the Auburn community in recent years. Residents took to the Auburn City Council to voice their displeasure after Kesha's divisive performance at Toomer's Corner two years ago. Airwaves has traditionally been free to only Auburn students, but UPC opted to hold the concert at Toomer's Corner in 2015.
Some council members, like Tommy Dawson, pledged to personally review the city's approval process for downtown events.
UPC has surveyed students online to determine the best artists for the fall concert, Horn said. Members will further gauge students' opinions on the Haley concourse later this semester.
"We are hoping students will understand why we did this," Horn said. "It was really a bummer not to have an Airwaves concert this spring. We really think revamping Auburn Airwaves and doing it in the fall will be the best concert UPC's ever put on."