Green Music Centers Costs Steal Money from Students & Classes

s_150_opednews_com_503288_s_300_farm5_static_flickr_com_503288_4179063482_e8184e27a1_n_503DownloadedFileLetter to the Editor of Community Voice Newspaper: Rohnert Park

I read in your 13 December 2013 edition that “[Rohnert Park Councilmember Gina] Belforte wondered if talks with the Green Music Center could perhaps accomplish a system whereby the GMC would give the city a portion of its profits.”

Huh? Green Music Center “profits”? A sick joke. No performance hall in the country makes a profit. In fact only one (in Chicago) makes back even half of what it costs to run.

When the SSU administration finally got around to making a Business Plan for the GMC (over 10 years after conception, and after construction had already begun), they predicted $800,000 in annual revenues and $1,900,000 in expenses! And how does the $1.1 million shortfall get covered? Taken from the University’s general-fund budget, that’s how. Which is precisely why the students are constantly complaining — justifiably — that they can’t get the courses they need to graduate: Funds we could use to hire sufficient faculty to teach the courses students need are going to subsidize the Green Music Center.

Most (but by no means all) of the funds used to construct the GMC were from donations. I emphasize “to construct it”. How about to operate it? Community members were very generous, of course, to donate for this construction — but there’s an old Tuscan proverb: “Never accept a gift that eats”!

I would like to propose to Council costsgreen-music-centermember Belforte that the city consider sharing the _loss_ on operating the GMC. After all, the Green Music Center surely is an economic benefit to the city, no?

— Rick Luttmann, PhD
SSU Professor of Mathematics

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