Abolish the BGReel/UFO 48 Fee

Abolish the BGReel/UFO 48 Fee

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David Schulte started this petition to BGReel/UFO

If you are like me, you remember a better time when the 48s were completely free. A few semesters ago, a price of $20 was added with very little explanation as to why. It was then lowered to $7 when everything went online. Either way, there is no reason why the students participating in the festival should have to take on the burden when most of us have many more important things to spend our money on. The only cost of putting on the 48s is the prizes they distribute to the three winners. These prizes are Blu-ray movies. First of all, there is no way three movies cost enough to warrant the price. Secondly, I would rather there be no prizes at all if the cost is having to pay to submit.

Because the 48 Hour Film Festival costs nothing itself, where does that money go? The answer is that most of the money gets funneled into the annual BG Film/Media Festival. On the surface this seems like a good cause, but there are still problems with this. The Film/Media Festival has its own submission fee meaning one would already be funding that if they are submitting to it. People entering into the 48s get nothing from their money if they are not also participating in the other festival. Even if they are participating in both the 48s and the BG Film/Media Festival, they are still paying twice for no added benefit.

The 48s were always a free event so that anyone could participate. With a fee, inexperienced filmmakers are less inclined to participate making the event smaller and less diverse overall.

This petition is not directed toward anyone specifically and is simply a request for a policy change. I respect that the organization's officers can make whatever choice they want, but I wanted a hub where interest for this change could be gauged in a public space. I consider a petition like this to be the most respectful and effective way to bring about this change.

It is stated specifically in Article IX of the BGReel/UFO Constitution that this behavior is against the organization's rules. It states "Dues shall never be collected as a requirement to join the organization or to take part in 48 Hour Film Festivals." I have been told that this is not the latest version of the constitution but as of typing this, it is the latest version available to the public on BGSU's official website. Regardless, I think it shows what the creators of the organization intended when they established these festivals in the first place. This information can be found here: https://bgsu.presence.io/organization/bgreel/documents

I think a good alternative would be a fundraiser, specifically one that does not prevent people who cannot pay from participating in what most Film Majors would consider an essential part of going to school here. As for what this fundraiser could be, that is open for discussion, but I am confident some other way or raising money could be worked out. Relying on the university to fund the organization or the program as a whole is pointless as they have shown no interest in doing so and honestly neither bring in anything for the school so they have no incentive.

If you are coming back to this petition after seeing it earlier, you will probably notice quite a bit of the text has changed. I decided that certain points needed to be restated to be clearer after extensive feedback from members of the Bowling Green film community.

I do not have any social media presence so if anyone would like to discuss the issue with me personally, feel free to email me at dmschul@bgsu.edu.

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