| 03.18.2018

Funding a festival – ASUI senate passes bill concerning money allotted to the Hemingway Festival


ASUI approved a $350 contribution to the seventh annual University of Idaho Hemingway Festival at the senate meeting this week.

Hemingway Festival Director Jennifer Hawk told the senate she decided to make some changes this year that require extra funding.

The four-day festival will be held the first week of March, and will feature events which promote literature in the community, Hawk said.

“For the past couple of years we have hosted a Hemingway Foundation award-winning author who will do readings for the public,” Hawk said. “We also bring in editors from the Hemingway Review who will give workshops to people who are interested in publishing or working for scholarly journals.”

One of the changes Hawk said she made this year was incorporating Moscow High School students into the festival.

“Our faculty members are going to conduct workshops for high school students so we get the opportunity to work with them directly,” Hawk said.

She said the Hemingway Festival conducts a writing contest for juniors and seniors at Moscow High School  and she wants to host a celebration for the winners March 3 at the VandalStore. There, she said the winners will be announced and awarded prizes, including a VandalStore gift card.

“What I would like to do is make sure every high school student who attends gets to walk away with some Vandal gear,” Hawk said.

ASUI Sen. Kate Ricart, the only senator who voted against the bill, did so because she said it did not directly benefit ASUI constituents.

“We are elected and paid through student fees, so our constituents are current students of the university,” Ricart said. “The money for this bill does not go directly toward benefitting the students whose money we”re currently using.”

Ricart said ASUI senate has a budget of around $11,000 each year, which is acquired from student fees. She said the $350 for the festival will come from the general reserve.

Yet, Ricart said she did see an upside.

“In a way I”m glad it passed,” Ricart said. “It may turn out to be a good investment and could get people excited to come to UI.”

This is the first year ASUI has provided funds to the Hemingway Festival, and Hawk said this partnership is an ideal one.

“We want high school students to come to UI and we hope that the incoming freshmen class consists of some of the people who will be participating in our writing contest,” Hawk said. “We want to surround them with Vandal gear and show them the pride we have in our university.”

Hawk said awarding the winners with Vandal gear may increase the likelihood of the participants attending UI in the future. She said she is grateful senate approved the funding and hopes ASUI members participate in the festival to greet the potential Vandals.

“They”re ready to make the decision on what university they”re ready to go to, and I can”t think of a better place for them to attend than UI,” Hawk said. “I want them to walk away feeling good and hopefully they will decide to join the Vandal family.”

Jessica Gee can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @JessicaC_Gee

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