The Missouri Students Association Department of Student Activities Speakers Committee has requested $15,000 of Contingency and Reserve funds to bring poet and author Maya Angelou to MU.
“The $15,000 is a request for funding that would go toward bringing a guest speaker to campus,” DSA Director Ben Hansen said. “The ideal speaker choice we are looking at is Maya Angelou, however if she is not available then we will look at a speaker with similar impact and purpose.”
According to the Speakers Committee C&R request form, the estimated total cost of bringing Angelou to MU is $37,300. The Speakers Committee has $7,000 left in it budget, after paying the expenses of two other speakers, Soledad O’Brien and Duff Goldman, who will be brought to campus this semester. The committee expects to yield a minimum of $17,000 in ticket sales, leaving about $13,300 of funding unaccounted for.
According to the submitted legislation, the balance of the C&R account is approximately $90,000, with no requests pending.
Angelou has spoken at MU in the past, but she is a huge interest on campus, Speakers Committee Chairwoman Amanda Gastler said.
“Dr. Angelou came to campus three years ago," Gastler said in an e-mail. "However, the majority of the students who saw her three years ago have left our campus and the majority of students on our campus today have yet to see her. Maya Angelou has experienced so much in her lifetime and has so much to share.”
The last time Angelou spoke on campus, it was a sold out lecture, she said.
“After considering some speakers that the committee could bring with the remaining budget, I made the decision that if possible, bringing someone such as Maya Angelou would have a greater impact,” Gastler said.
Although DSA has requested C&R money for the Angelou event, DSA already has the money to put on other events planned for this semester. The Speakers Committee is one of the six committees that make up DSA. The requested funds will go to that committee alone, Gastler said.
“The Speakers Committee has used its budget to bring seven speakers so far this year,” she said. “We have brought a variety of speakers to meet many students' interests and we have successfully cooperated with multiple organizations to bring these speakers. Speakers Committee and DSA as a whole has had a very successful year with programming.”
DSA also plans to request C&R funds to reimburse the funds the organization put up for The Jungle, but the $15,000 request to fund Angelou has nothing to do with The Jungle, Hansen said.
“DSA still has money for its events,” Hansen said. “However, we believe that we can provide better programs for students by applying for funding that remains in the Contingency and Reserve fund within MSA.”