The Tomato

New episodes of the SFUO reality show will air weekly on MTV. Photo: Henry du Basty, edits by Christine Wang.
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Funding for new season came from EHE Fest’s pay to play policy

Following two successful seasons of the MTV hit Keeping Up with the Boardashians, fans and viewers across the country were left with questions after the show was taken off the air.

But on Sunday, Oct. 1 the show returned, featuring new cast members, revamped opening credits, and a new airing schedule—once a week, which is a stark difference from their near-daily episodes the past two seasons.

The reality television show, which chronicles the antics of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), most recently featured mobs of students wielding pitchforks at the winter General Assembly. However, the show was pulled from the air shortly afterwards, with little to no explanation.

“To put it simply, we lost funding for the show,” said SFUO vice-president of services and communications Kathryn LeSwank in a confessional during Sunday’s episode. “We had an incident with a lawsuit this spring, and unfortunately we had to allocate our funding for the show to pay for that.”

LeSwank did not comment further on the lawsuit.

According to LeSwank, funding for season three of the show came from profits from the recent Everybody Hates Everybody (EHE) Festival. The festival featured a controversial “pay to play” policy, where the SFUO selected artists to perform based on how many tickets they could sell.

“We had a lot of students asking us where the money from tickets sales would go, and in all honesty, we had no idea,” said LeSwank. “Ultimately, we decided to bring the Boardashians back. We’re all about that hashtag good comms—we want students to know what we’re up to here at the SFUO.”

One of the highlights from the Oct. 1 Boardashians special was the SFUO’s recent town hall, where students were able to meet with federation executives, ask questions, and provide criticism—albeit that these critical comments were written down and sent to the executives for approval before read aloud.

“We had a bumpy last few months here at the SFUO, with our vice-president social resigning this summer, leaving me to plan 101 Week on top of my own duties,” said the federation’s president Wadi Hess. “But we’re excited to get back on track and make this a great year for all of you folks!”

Vice-president finance Richie Lachiq chimed in after Wess’ statement, saying, “That’s right. We want to put your money towards initiatives that benefit you, which is why I’m planning on sticking around for the next three years to hear your ideas and put them into action.”

The episode then cut to commercial, as Lachic began discussing the federation’s budget.

“I’m not sure why the budget presentation wasn’t filmed for the show, considering it’s our finalized version,” said Tristan Harmonica, a Faculty of Arts representative and finance committee member, during a confessional following commercials. “Man, just working on that budget gave me a headache. I was literally Ubering to the summer board meeting when I received the initial draft for review. Unbelievable!”

The next episode of Keeping Up with the Boardashians will air on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.