An investment in Heat is an investment in student morale

Ben Pham/HIGHLANDER
Ben Pham/HIGHLANDER

The HUB Governing Board voted on Oct. 17 to make two different recommendations regarding the continuation of the Heat music festival; one of which simply states their support for continuing Heat, and one which recommends allocating 60 percent of the the funds set aside for Heat to go to the concert, with the rest going toward the expansion of the HUB in anticipation of a growing UCR student body.

The Highlander Editorial Board strongly agrees with restoring Heat, since two of the previous three Heats have been cancelled. The morale of UCR’s students has been heavily damaged by these cancellations, and the only way to repair that damage is by reinstituting this important concert.

This arrangement will give students something to look forward to every quarter, to help deal with the stresses of college life.

It is simple logic to keep Heat, so that, in conjunction with the Block Party and Spring Splash, there will be one major campus concert each quarter. This arrangement will give students something to look forward to every quarter, to help deal with the stresses of college life.

UCR is well known for its concerts, which can often be a selling point for incoming students. Taking away Heat means potentially denying prospective students one more reason to come to this school. If UCR does not want to throw away the increasingly positive reputation it has earned in California, it absolutely needs to preserve one of the activities that has contributed to its gaining such a reputation.

Bringing back Heat also has meaning for current students. There is an increasing number of students — at the moment, the current freshmen and sophomore classes — that have not had the opportunity to go to Heat. This group, a large portion of the UCR undergraduate class, has missed out on what has historically been a defining aspect of campus culture. The return of Heat would normalize these students’ experience at UCR, making it comparable to previous years.

It is also problematic that, when the funding from Heat comes from students fees, two of the last three graduating classes have put money into the HUB without getting one of the Heats they paid for. There may have been circumstances forcing two of the last three Heats to be cancelled, so the loss of that funding is understandable, but it is another thing entirely to suggest that these same funds from Heat be transferred to expanding the HUB. Students are paying these fees because they are promised a memorable concert experience; they most certainly are not expecting to fund projects that will only benefit future classes of students.

The student body should not be overly quick to celebrate this news of the HUB Board’s recommendation. It is, after all, only a recommendation, which can be rejected by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs James Sandoval, who has the final say on whether or not Heat happens. This is indeed less than promising as, in his address to the HUB Board, Sandoval expressed a desire to use the funds set aside for Heat for the HUB expansion. It seems unlikely that Heat will be renewed if the man with the power to renew it is opposed to doing so.

Also of concern is the fact that, without any preparations already made, it is unlikely that the entire infrastructure of Heat can be put together in the course of the approximately four months that remain until Heat would take place. A concert, after all, takes a lot of time to plan from start to finish with all the logistical arrangements it entails, and Sandoval is, it would seem, in no major hurry to approve Heat so that the HUB Board can start making the preparations.

There is no guarantee that Heat will happen this year (or any future year, to be realistic), and students should be prepared for this possibility. Nevertheless, it is the hope of this editorial board that Sandoval will consider what a detriment to student morale it would be if he decides to cancel Heat a third time in the course of the last four years .

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