The Stood has introduced a 2 dollar guest fee in hopes of making the space safer and more comfortable for students.
By Jennifer Ward
Beginning this semester, The Stood is implementing a $2 guest fee policy for upcoming events in hopes of protecting the safety of the student body, according to PSGA and Stood officials.
The Stood is home to some of the biggest events on campus. Legacy parties such as Sextacy, Afrodisiac, and Culture Shock occur annually. However, in the past few years, complications such as violence and overcrowding during these events have led to a rise in security concerns.
A major issue is the maximum capacity of the space – the Stood is safely able to fit up to 800 partygoers for larger events. However, the majority of people attending the events that have been hitting capacity aren't even students at Purchase, according to the PSGA.
"If someone can’t get in because there are too many people on the floor, and a student that pays the MSAF can’t get in. That’s a problem," said Bernardo Manzolillo, the Stood’s General Programming Coordinator.
The MSAF (Mandatory Student Activities Fee) is a required fee of $125 that students pay in their tuition. This fee pays for all events on campus that students attend.
The guest fee has been instated in response to past issues of outside guests getting into the Stood over MSAF-paying students. This was highlighted by the events of Afrodisiac 2023 in April, where headliner Bobby Shmurda’s performance brought in countless outside guests. The PSGA deems it important that MSAF-paying students get top priority when it comes to attendance. According to the PSGA, the best way to ensure paying students are the only ones to enter the Stood is to charge the $2 guest fee.
“To allow others to come to campus to be part of that and participate in that space without any charge is a disservice to the students,” said Jessica Bullock, Associate Director of Student Involvement and Engagement, as well as PSGA advisor. “Students have to pay for it, so I think it’s only right that their guests do too.”
Even with some hesitation, student performers, as well as the student body itself, feel as though this decision is the next best step in ensuring their safety. Adrian Acosta, senior studio production major, and frequent DJ at the Stood, said, “On one hand, we do pay so much for the MSAF…costs add up even with the MSAF.”
In order to pay this fee, visitors first have to register as a guest. They can then go to the PSGA office the week of the Stood party and use Zelle to pay the $2 fee. They will then receive a wristband and be allowed to enter the party.
The money gets split evenly at the end of the party. Half of the profit from the guest fee goes towards the club or organization that put on the party, to be put towards future events. The other half is given to the financial department, which is able to be accessed for use by anyone hoping to put on an event.
“I think there’s a level of transparency that’s required with those funds I’d like to see. I want to see where these funds are being allocated,” said Acosta.
According to the PSGA and the Stood, the price of the fee for more popular parties that require outside musical guests, such as Afrodisiac and Culture Shock, will see a significant increase to an unspecified amount.
“It’ll be way higher. In their minds, for Afrodisiac and Culture Shock, we’re bringing in bigger artists so you’re going to a concert. So, for guests to come and pay five dollars for a concert, that’s crazy,” said Manzolillo.
“I asked students to put in perspective how much they would pay for a concert, said Bullock. “I think it’s only right after all that effort that goes into planning these events. Especially for the students planning these events. I think it’s only right the guests coming to participate in these free events have to pay some money.”
The increase, however, brings in a new worry for the student performers. The Stood is both an ideal place for artists to perform and a way for artists to promote themselves. Many student artists use the Stood as an opportunity for their followers outside of Purchase to see them perform. With this added guest fee, that may become more difficult.
“It’ll make my life a lot harder, especially considering the guest pass is required now,” said Adrian Acosta, a senior studio production major and frequent DJ at the Stood. “I’ll be the one to address the elephant in the room. The fact of the matter is we have a lot of people who come from off-campus to these Stood events.”
Considering how recently implemented the change in policy is, the PSGA ensures that nothing is set in stone. “There’s always room for negotiation with students, we’re not here to ever make the students’ lives harder for them,” said PSGA President Me’ilani Nelson. “At the end of the day, the goal is to make the student’s lives easier.”
A significant, common interest between all parties involved is the goal of making the Stood safer for both the student body and performers. “I feel safer as a participant knowing that I’m here with members of my community and people that they trust,” said Acosta.