[nycbug-talk] Student Discounts

G. Rosamond george at sddi.net
Mon Oct 9 18:34:26 EDT 2006

Quoting Tim Allender <techneck at goldenpath.org>:

> Practically all professional organizations have them.
> Certainly, a "User Group" organization such as the New York City BSD
> User's Group should as well.

Know any groups, user or other, that charge $95 for a two day 
conference, including four meals and significant speakers from as far 
away as Latvia?

I somehow doubt it.

Name a conference, ANY conference, and you will find nothing close.  I 
don't think it's useful to compare this to last year, if that's what 
you're doing.

> I don't just ~worry~ that the cost is prohibitive for CUNY students. I know.
> I think the logic is upside down to say that Columbia students should
> get a discount and other students (particularly CUNY, being by far the
> largest college student body in NYC) do not.

Well, while CU students are unlikely the most desparate in NYC (or the 
world for that matter), the fact that CU is not charging us an arm and 
a leg, we had no problem doing this.

Do we wish we could charge less for students, especially CUNY?  Yes.  I 
happened to have gone to a SUNY, so I'm well aware.  And we should add 
in so many others whose means don't allow them to attend technical 
conferences.  However, I don't know another conference that has the bar 
so low for entry.

Anyone know what it's like getting inexpensive space in NYC, with the 
gentrification that has gone on since the early 90's, not to mention 

This is not some small midwestern town with an Arby's and $45000 
ranch-style houses.

> It's not as if a discount would flood us with students.
> It's more like we're locking them out.
> I'm very disappointed.

Right, and you raised it at the last meeting, and we fully discussed to 
everyone's satisfaction, including your own, from my memory.

We're not worrying about flooding the conference with anyone.  This is 
a BSD conference, afterall. :-)

We're cutting it very close in terms of budgeting, which I think we 
made very clear last week, in an effort to keep costs low for everyone, 
yet deliver a great conference.  Additional variables, beyond the 
inherent, are not something we seek.

> I realize the conference is incurring more costs this year and that
> those need to be recouped but this isn't a killer; this isn't the way.
> All this assures is that we won't have any other student's except
> Columbia students.
> I suggest we reverse ourselves on this and give all New York City
> students $50 admission at the door.

Tim, glad you have input on this, and I genuinely do appreciate your 
input last week at the meeting, but we (and certainly you) are not in a 
position to reverse anything.

> I can only suppose we're specifically gunning for the prestige of
> holding the conference on the Columbia campus.
> They're certainly not the only place we can find a sponsored location.
> For future reference:
> The Auxiliary Enterprises Corporation of BMCC has previously allocated
> funds for exactly this type of community activity.
> And, of course, there's BMCC Association, Inc. and the SGA.
> BMCC is the home of Tribeca Theatre. The Theatre is actually "free,"
> though the theater crew and security run a couple of grand.
> That is what the Aux Ent funds offset.
> Of course, it's too late to take that into consideration this year.
> Next year, remind me in August and I'll test the waters.
> I've been a member of the board of directors of each of those
> corporations. I know exactly how they work and who we would need to talk to.
> Of course, as with all things, there is no guarantee.
> All we can do is beat our drums and see if they're up for dancing.
> That is, if we can live without saying, "...it's at Columbia"
> And, no, I'm not a student. I'm not gunning for my own discount here.

But it may be worse than you gunning for your own discount. . . You 
basically missed the point of last week's discussion, much of which was 
focused on your own points.

You've just reraised them, adding not much new, other than your offers 
for space, which would have been relevant six months ago when it was 
dealt with.

I don't think anyone cares about the "ivy league" credentials.  But our 
contacts at Columbia came through on this, again, for the third time 
now, and we're very appreciative.

This conference wasn't put together last week, or even the week before. 
. . We want input, comments, even criticisms, etc, but you're just 
reraising something from last week that we addressed, and frankly, 
something that you really don't know much about.


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