With the summer now at a close and the new semester upon us, many student organizations at the College are gearing up for another year of programming. The College Union Board (CUB), the largest programming organization at the College, will add a new branch to its organization, the Multicultural Programming Advisory Council (MPAC).
“The Council basically serves to keep open communication between organizations and to create opportunities for co-sponsorships,” Caitlin Gaughan, CUB director and senior communications major, said.
The Council will consist of one representative from at least seven different student organizations. The members of the Council will meet once every three weeks to discuss what events they are planning and to brainstorm future CUB events. By having students from various organizations serve on the Council, CUB will be able to receive more diverse input and better meet the diverse needs of the campus community.
“Our goal is to have successful and diverse events,” Gaughan said.
MPAC began in January 2003 as a pilot program with seven organizations on the Council. The Asian American Association, the Black Student Union, Uni?n Latina, the Jewish Student Union (JSU), PRISM (formerly GUTS) and the Islamic Society made up the Council last year.
The pilot program was successfully completed in April 2005. This semester, the Council will be an official sub-branch of CUB that will be open to all students.
Melanie Kaufer, junior seven-year medical student and English major, was the Jewish Awareness Month chairperson last year and regularly attended MPAC meetings. Kaufer, now the JSU president, plans to have JSU serve on MPAC again this semester.
“I think that the Council was wonderful. It was a great way to network with other groups in order to organize co-sponsorships, and even to just bounce different ideas for events off each other,” Kaufer said. “It was also nice to put our input into some of CUB’s events as well.”
CUB’s long-term goal is to develop a huge program each year, sponsored by MPAC, which would include a diverse number of student organizations participating. Kaufer is adamant about MPAC serving as a vital part of the campus community.
“A programming council like this is important to have at the College because some sort of opportunity is needed for organizations to be able to network with each other,” Kaufer said. “And it’s also great for the cultural groups on campus to participate in CUB’s planning.”
This semester CUB will be sponsoring some of the same events as last year, including a weekly film series, weekly music series and at least four bus trips a semester. In the past, bus trips have included haunted hayrides, Broadway shows and sporting events.
The first major event will be the Welcome Back Comedy Show on Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. in Kendall Hall, featuring comedians Jay Black, Steve Hofstetter and Patrice O’Neal. They will also sponsor “A Night of Guilty Pleasures-CUB Latenighter,” on Sept. 16 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Brower Student Center during which students will have the opportunity to engage in numerous games and activities all night long. CUB will also periodically show movies for the campus community.
“Over the summer, we have been working on research to see what big name acts we could bring this semester,” Gaughan said. “We do not have any specific names right now.”
When planning big events, especially concerts, receiving adequate funding often becomes an issue
“Fortunately, we have been working with SFB (Student Finance Board) to develop a better system of what we are budgeted with and what we are expected to request from SFB,” Gaughan said. “So far, it has been working well and I believe it will continue to do so.”
With MPAC, CUB hopes to meet one of the challenges that it has always faced when presenting programs to the campus community – getting more students to support the programs and events.
“With every year there is the challenge of finding the right programs and the right acts to bring to campus,” Gaughan said. “This summer we have begun a targeted campaign to hopefully get the student body more aware of CUB and that (the students) do have a say about what is brought to campus.”