Since December, a task force designed to restructure the current system of programming and campus activities at Boston College has been working toward the finalization of a new programming organization.
After UGBC split from two of its programming branches-BC2Boston and Campus Entertainment-a committee was formed to overhaul the existing methods of event planning and other forms of on-campus programming that were previously the responsibility of UGBC and Nights on the Heights (NOTH).
The task force is comprised of two advisors from the Student Programs Office (SPO), Director Gus Burkett and Associate Director Mark Miceli; two student co-chairs, Kendall Stemper, A&S ’15, and Alex Orfao, CSOM ’16; and a combination of nine undergraduate representatives from BC2Boston, NOTH, and Campus Entertainment.
“It’s about trying to start from ground zero as much as possible,” Stemper said.
Tasked with overhauling the existing methods of programming on campus, the committee aims to launch a new organization that will combine the previous programming efforts of UGBC, NOTH, and Campus Entertainment, and combine them under one newly rebranded entity.
“It’s about figuring out the best structure that is going to enable the best programs for BC programming on campus and off campus,” Orfao said.
Although a definitive structure has yet to be finalized by the task force, the new programming body will likely feature a tiered system of leadership that focuses on providing innovative and improved activities both on and off campus. Currently, the task force has not established titles or positions within the board, but, according to Stemper and Orfao, it will do so within the next two weeks.
“We’re hoping to have the structure last for years to come,” Stemper said.
While it is still yet to be voted on, the internal structure of the new programming board will likely consist of an executive leadership council, the determination of which has yet to be decided on, that will then conduct a process for selecting positions resembling managers or vice presidents, and the proposed VPs would conduct an appointment process of their own for subcommittee efforts.
“The way programming happens at Boston College right now is completely unique to what’s happening at other universities-most universities do have this own entity for programming that’s not as scattered,” Stemper said. “So what we kind of wanted to do was just to eliminate what we’re doing now and create an entirely new entity.”
While UGBC’s programming functions, along with NOTH, have been mostly ceded to the new programming organization, it will consist of more than just the three previously existing systems of programming and will instead launch entirely new initiatives under a new identity.
“I don’t want to even call it a blending because it’s not even that, it’s that we’re adding completely new ideas that we saw at [universities] like Fordham that we never would have thought of on our own and that aren’t coming from UGBC or Nights on the Heights-it’s just a complete rebranding on all sides,” Stemper said.
Despite seeking to distance itself from older versions of programming at BC, the new board may retain some of the University’s more successful programs, such as BC2Boston, in an effort to maintain student recognition of the events that work well among undergraduates.
“I’m sure that there will be traditions that are maintained-that’s inevitable … but at the end of the day we’re working for the undergraduate body, and we want to make sure we’re putting on programs that are connecting with our peers,” Stemper said.
The allocation of funds for the new programming board is also yet to be determined, but it will still operate under and be required to submit budgetary requests through SPO.
“The budget will be transparent to the student body once we know what that is, but right now we just can’t really speak on that,” Stemper said.
Within SPO, a committee comprised of both students and administrators divides funds from the Student Activities Fee (SAF) on the basis of budget requests. Now that UGBC and NOTH will no longer receive the funding for programming they previously did, those funds will be redistributed among SPO’s programs and services, including the new programming board, though it is yet to be determined how those funds will be allocated.
Burkett noted that there will also be increased efficiencies with the consolidation of programming entities on campus because it eliminates the need for two separate organizations to vie for the same funds for similar purposes.
When considering possible structures for the new programming board, the task force spent several months consulting other universities’ student activities organizations.
Schools being compared by the committee were broken down into Jesuit or Catholic institutions, Boston-area institutions, Northeastern U.S. institutions, and other universities within the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“We were very lucky that this year the National Association of Campus Activities has their conference in Boston, so we were able to send our students to actually physically meet with other programming boards for other schools around the country,” Burkett said. “It was great to have face-to-face meetings with them.”
Among the list of schools assessed by the task force were Georgetown, College of the Holy Cross, Harvard, Fordham, UNC Charlotte, Tufts, University of Georgia, and MIT, among others.
Applications for undergraduate students to join the new programming board will likely be released through OrgSync within the next week, but are subject to the timeline of the finalized new programming board.