Canceling Geneva Stunts is no big loss

Butler University won’t be seeing Geneva Stunts for the first time in 92 years, and it’s not such a bad thing.

While it is sad to lose such a long-standing tradition, we at The Butler Collegian support the organizer’s decision to cancel Geneva Stunts.

The event was canceled this year due to diminishing profits and a competing basketball game on the same night, said Amanda Moore, adviser of the
Butler Intercollegiate YMCA.

Moore said that the price to rent Clowes Memorial Hall for the event  has been increasing annually and now is about $5,000 to $6,000.

Although the event might help fund programs at the YMCA, the benefit is not enough to warrant this decreasingly helpful event’s continuation or the price of renting Clowes for the evening.

Ninety-two years is a good run for any campus tradition, but some at the university treat Geneva Stunts as if it’s an irreplaceable event on campus.

Hanging onto Geneva Stunts past this point will only become more costly.

The format of the program could be updated or morphed into a different event or performance that generates more popularity and better results for the involved organizations.

The university can’t be so tethered to tradition that it perpetuates programs such as Geneva Stunts even if they don’t generate the results they once did.

Profits from Geneva Stunts support a worthwhile cause—of course we support the YMCA’s mission of building strong kids, families and communities.
However, in lieu of Geneva Stunts, couldn’t Greek houses and residence halls on campus hold philanthropy events to support the same endeavor?

Butler could easily find a way to continue the same fundraising for the YMCA in a different event. Perhaps, they could even surpass fundraising amounts that Geneva Stunts generated in the past.
Geneva Stunts also sometimes seems like a solely inclusive program for Greek students on campus.

Although it does invite independent students to participate, it can sometimes become an outlet for Greek life inside jokes that other students can’t understand.

It would be better to have a more inclusive philanthropic event on campus that encouraged both Greeks and independents to join and support the efforts of the university.

Additionally, Geneva Stunts was already part of an over-programmed weekend including Parents’ Weekend and a home basketball game.

The idea that the university thinks that the program will trump an already-full weekend is presumptuous and hopelessly optimistic.

The best solution here is to eliminate Geneva Stunts for some amount of time. If the university wants to revisit the idea later on, that’s fine.

Members of the YMCA said the event could be held in the new Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing and Visual Arts in the future to bring down the cost, but that is a long-term solution.

For now, removal of the event was the best solution. If Geneva Stunts can be revived as an event that generates not only good turn-out, but a healthy profit, then it will be useful to our campus.


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