The Daily Gamecock

State of the University costs $3,200

Expenses include chair rental, band transportation, refreshments

USC can halt its countdown clock, email invites and anticipatory tweets this morning, when President Harris Pastides delivers his annual State of the University speech on the Horseshoe.

But creating hype for a celebration, and then throwing the fete, costs money.

Today’s State of the University festivities are expected to cost the university about $3,200, according to figures provided by USC’s communications department.

That total includes $1,100 for setup and chair rental on the Horseshoe, $500 for refreshments, $500 for promotional materials, $110 for fans and decorations and $485 for sound.

The university will spend another $480 to transport the marching band, which will perform prior to the speech, from its campus headquarters to the Horseshoe.

But this year’s overall budget has significantly decreased from 2010, if you include what USC departments pay each other.

Last year, University Technology Services billed the president’s office about $25,000 for sound, technological support and video editing for his address inside the law school, according to a bill provided to The Daily Gamecock Tuesday evening. The total budget for the speech was just over $26,000.

This year, Luanne Lawrence, USC’s new vice president for communications, chose instead to hire Jim Covington for sound and technological assistance. Covington, who often produces on-campus events, charged $485.

“Under Luanne’s direction, we have taken a different and far more economical approach,” said USC spokeswoman Margaret Lamb.

The bill shows that UTS charged $1,440 for a camera operator, $1,120 for a director and $4,000 for the usage of Final Cut Suite among other charges. An email to confirm the statement with UTS spokeswoman Helen Epting wasn’t returned late Tuesday.

The speech, which typically celebrates the accomplishments of faculty, students and staff, will begin at 10 a.m. on the Horseshoe. Should it rain, the event will move indoors to the Russell House Theatre.