Within two weeks, the structure of a new programming board independent of UGBC is slated for completion. In December, the UGBC Student Assembly (SA) passed an amendment to its constitution that would detach two of its three programming branches-on-campus programming and BC2Boston-to a separated board.
The split, which will become operational with the board’s inception, will result in the elimination of the Division of Student Programming-an executive-level office.
In response, a committee comprised of members from the former on-campus programming division of UGBC, BC2Boston, Nights on the Heights, and members of the Student Programs Office (SPO) began planning the creation of a new board that would function solely to program activities on campus. These organizations will now all fall under one organization independent of UGBC.
“Our goals are to create a more fluid organization where people support each other better,” said Frankie Paleno, coordinator of athletics for on-campus programming and A&S ’15. “We are trying to break the stigma on campus that UGBC programs for UGBC’s friends. We feel as though we’re taking a good step in changing that.”
The funds from the student activities fees (SAF) that were previously allocated to UGBC for programming purposes will now be directed toward the new programming board. It is yet to be determined how the Nights on the Heights budget and the SAF funds will be specifically differentiated within the board.
In order to construct a framework for the new board, the committee performed best practices reviews, which surveyed other universities of similar size, locations, and social environments; conducted internal reviews of currently existing structures and leadership roles; and sent out a student survey to gain a fuller understanding of demands from students outside of programming departments.
“We delved into the actual structure of what we’re dealing with now and leadership roles-what works, what doesn’t work,” Paleno said. “There was a student survey sent out to try to include as many people who aren’t as necessarily involved with UGBC and programming to see what they think would be better moving forward. That prefaced what we think the programming board should look like structurally.”
The committee to form the new board has yet to determine who will comprise the new board. While it is considering interviewing prospective applicants with the desired amount of experience to run the new board, the committee has not confirmed that it will conduct interviews, nor does it have a time frame for when the potential interviews would occur.
“I envision that through the use of the creative minds behind our marketing effort we will devise an ad campaign to reach out to as many students as possible,” Paleno said in an email, of attracting students to become involved in the new programming organization. “I think we need to make a genuine effort in person to immediately connect with the student body and give them interest in order to successfully attract the wealth of talent on campus.”
The committee had originally set April 1 as the date for completion of and recruitment for the new board, but as the semester grows closer to ending and the deadline is soon to be passed, the committee has begun increasing its weekly meetings to ensure completion within the next two weeks.
“That’s why we’ve bumped up our meetings to twice a week to get this rigid structure, so that people can start preparing for next year to be in these various leadership roles,” said Jono Keedy, on-campus programming and A&S ’16.
The decision to eliminate UGBC’s two main programming departments was the result of its desire to focus more extensively on policy implementation rather than concert planning and programming for other campus events. Although UGBC retains its third programming branch-heritage programming, which puts on events for the AHANA Leadership Council and the GLBTQ Leadership Council-events such as the Fall Concert, pub series, and Modstock will all fall under the new programming board’s responsibility.