With recent changes to student organizations and increasing musician fees, the LDOC committee will now fall under the purview of Duke University Union and lose its independence.
Beginning next year, the Last Day of Classes celebration will be organized by a new committee in DUU. The current LDOC committee—consisting mainly of student representatives from DUU and Campus Council—has been independent since its inception.
But due to financial stress and the recent disbanding of Campus Council, this year’s committee decided that it makes sense to merge with DUU, said senior Will Benesh, co-chair of the LDOC committee.
“There wasn’t much of a discussion,” Benesh said. “It was the only real option.”
LDOC receives $100,000 every year from student activities fees—however, these funds are insufficient as musicians’ fees continue to increase, Benesh said. In order to compensate for additional costs in recent years, the LDOC committee has solicited between $15,000 and $25,000 extra funds from both DUU and Campus Council, said junior Rachel Sussman, incoming DUU president and current member of the LDOC committee.
By becoming part of DUU, LDOC will have consistent financial support from the organization, in addition to the funding that comes from student activities fees, she added. Sussman believes there is no reason for the LDOC committee to remain independent because Campus Council no longer exists and many of the LDOC committee’s current members are heavily involved with DUU. Sussman added that she hopes, however, the committee will continue to draw members from across the student body—not just those involved with DUU.
“DUU is in full support of [the change],” she said. “We are the programming body on campus, so why not have the largest day of programming under our direction?”
She noted that, like all other DUU committees, the LDOC committee will remain autonomous but will benefit from the umbrella organization’s financial stability, variety of programming and added leadership from its executive board.
Although the committee will maintain its current internal structure, next year’s LDOC co-chairs—junior Nate French and freshman Jacob Robinson—anticipate that DUU will increase cost efficiency and the quality of performers.
“DUU is good at planning—having their available resources will smooth the process,” French said. “But it’s going to be the same event it’s always been with a little more organization and foundation.”
Robinson said he hopes to collaborate with other DUU committees that already specialize in organizing campus concerts—such as Joe College Day, Major Attractions and Campus Concert Series committees—in order to bring the best artists to Duke.
“We want students to graduate having had a well-rounded and fun experience with a variety of artists on campus,” he said.
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French said the added efficiency and input from other student programmers will help maintain LDOC’s unique ability to bring the entire student body together.
“This is a shared, bonding experience that can unify the student body in a way no other event can,” he said.