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University Programs Council spends nearly $100K on Welcome Week activities

The organization used the majority of its Welcome Week funds for the T-Pain concert

<p>T-Pain's performance was part of the University Programs Council's Welcome Week festivities.&nbsp;</p>

T-Pain's performance was part of the University Programs Council's Welcome Week festivities. 

The University Programs Council began hosting its annual Welcome Week Aug. 24, spending nearly $100,000 on events to entertain students and provide inclusive spaces for both new and returning students. 

The organization allocated about $60,000 of its funds for the week towards the T-Pain concert, UPC Chair and fourth-year College student Debbie Yoo said in an interview with The Cavalier Daily. 

Other events included Amp Up the Arts, which was an event held in the McIntire Amphitheater with food vendors and crafts, a screening of the hit Marvel movie Black Panther and Rotunda Sing — a night of performances from University choir and acapella groups. UPC also hosted shows by comedian Sasheer Zamata and hypnotist Tom Deluca.

Rotunda Sing cost UPC approximately $3,500, Yoo said. Amp Up the Arts — a night of food vendors, crafts and activities — cost $11,000, and Zamata and Deluca cost approximately $18,000 and $4,200 respectively. UPC’s events budget has not changed from last year. 

The T-Pain concert was a part of the Hoo’s Home event — a new school-year welcome back and kickoff event organized by UPC in conjunction with Orientation and New Student Programs, Student Engagement, Housing and Residence Life and Intramural-Recreational Sports. 

Yoo added there was positive student response to the concert, which UPC offers as an alternative to the Wertland Street apartment and house parties — also referred to as “Block Party” among University students. 

“My friends said they’d noticed there were fewer people at Block Party,” Yoo said. “There was a big crowd at the T-Pain concert. We had about 5,500 students come, and we had a big crowd at the Hoo’s Home activities in the AFC afterwards. There were about two to three thousand people there.” 

Block Party has been a source of concern for the University administration. Dean of Students Allen Groves addressed the UPC events as a safer alternative to the block parties in a University-wide email to students before the school year started.  

“[The parties] are a great concern for many of us, given the size of the crowd and the demonstrated potential for negative (and highly serious) incidents to occur,” Groves wrote in his email. “Sexual assault, dangerously crowded balconies, underage drinking, and other risks inherent in large crowds of individuals you do not know are all very real concerns.” 

Police arrested only one person at this year’s Block Party for public intoxication. 

With the bigger turnout, Yoo said students are realizing the Welcome Week events are ones they would like to attend.

“Not only UPC, but also HRL and Class Council and IM-Rec see it as a joint effort that they can build for future years,” Yoo said. “And it’s just like the start of something that they can do for future years, and they can see that there’s a big turnout as well. People do enjoy it.”