According to Assistant Director of Student Activities and Engagement Travis Greenlee, the total cost of Flunk Day is a “ballpark” of $40,000.
“That’s all the way from the food that’s provided to the activities to the performer,” Greenlee said. He was unable to give a more specific breakdown of the budget for Flunk Day, which occurred on Wednesday, April 29 of this year.
Comedian Dave Coulier was the main stage performer for this year’s event. He is best known for his role on the television series “Full House.”
Junior and Flunk Day planner Cassie McLaughlin said that when choosing the performer the planning committee tries to find someone who would both be well-known to the campus but also within its budget.
“Performers are really crazy expensive and we definitely don’t have the kind of money needed to bring in really big names. So it was kind of a lot of searching and a lot of compromise to try to find someone who’s cheap, but also noteworthy,” McLaughlin said.
Junior Coltan Parker, who was also a Flunk Day planner, roughly estimated that the cost of the performer is anywhere from a third to half of the total $40,000 budget.
He noted that the planning committee got lucky with booking Coulier, as his listing price increased dramatically after the upcoming “Full House” reunion show “Fuller House” was announced.
“By the time Flunk Day rolled around, he was worth more than we would have been able to pay for him,” Parker said.
Members of the planning committee said that the majority of the feedback they received about Flunk Day was positive, but noted that some students were put off by some of Coulier’s jokes.
“He made some remarks that were not in the best taste for Knox’s climate, but I think he adapted a little bit as his set went on, but that’s definitely something we’ll be mindful of in the future with performers,” McLaughlin said.
Greenlee also explained that members of Union Board talk to performers they host on campus about what Knox students and the climate of the campus are like.
Parker said that several administrators told him this year’s Flunk Day was one of the smoothest in years and noted that no students went to the hospital during the event.
Director of Facilities Scott Maust said that this year’s Flunk Day was the best he’s ever seen and was particularly happy about there not being a mud pit this year.
“The real big challenge is the amount of mud that gets tracked into the buildings and the extra work that puts on custodial staff. This is the first year in my 19 Flunk Days that we did not have a mud pit and the staff was just ecstatic,” Maust said. “Cleanest the dorms have ever been.”
Greenlee said that though the mud pit is a tradition for some students, it is not an officially condoned campus event.
“If we endorse it or if we don’t make an attempt to stop it and somebody gets hurt, the college is liable,” Maust said.
He thinks that if the mud pit dies out, the relationship between students and facilities staff may be improved. Maust also noted that there were less damages than past years.
“This is the best Flunk Day I’ve ever seen and I really hope we can continue this trend.”