Check Out the New Program Board

In preparation for the upcoming Dudley H. Davis Student Center, The Department of Student Life has formed Program Board (UPB), a student group devoted to bringing high quality programs to campus. Officially replacing the Campus Activities Team (CATs) and UVMPM Late Night, the mission of the new Program Board is to deliver programs of variety and substance to an increasingly diverse student body. According to Patrick Raymond, Assistant Director of Campus Programs, “CATs and UVMPM were just not on the same page. It made the most sense to consolidate the two groups, allowing for a more consistent delivery method of bringing programs to campus. The motto behind UPB is ‘for the students, by the students’ and in response to recent developments on campus, we wanted to create a new student based organization that mirrored the changing ideals of UVM.” The organization of UPB functions in a way to allow it to continue to bring traditional programs to campus, while creating new and original programs by looking specifically into the different areas that construct artistic culture-film, comedy, music, poetry, and more. Twenty-three student representatives are separated into six subcommittees focusing on particular aspects of programming; the Film Committee, Traditions, Variety and Special Events Committee, Comedy and Speakers Committee, and the Arts, Culture, and Education Committee. Each committee member works under the direction of their specific coordinator. Additionally, ten student representatives are either part of the Publicity Committee or on the Executive Council. The Publicity Committee is in charge of promoting the mission of Program Board through the production and distribution of posters, flyers, t-shirts, and web design. While the members of the Executive Council are not directly responsible for programming events, they take on the challenge of overseeing all the operations by the other committees. The Executive Council is made up of the Chair of Program Board (Anthony Epter ’07), Secretary (Jenna Damareck ’08), and Treasurer (Dan Green ’07). Overseeing the entire Program Board is done by Assistant Director of Campus programming Patrick Raymond and coordinators of Campus Programs and Publicity, Melissa Sandoval and Kristen Crepezzi. The “ThinkTank” film series geared at enriching intellectual engagement through film is made possible by the Film Committee. Usually low budget and independent films conveying messages that are social and political in nature are screened. The “Saturday Night Movie” series provide the opportunity for students to see more recent blockbusters. Free of charge, these films are a great alternative for partying downtown or make for a great time-filler on the way to one, because all screenings are conveniently shown at the CC Theatre or at Marsh Life Sciences on Main Campus. The success of a particular event can play a large role in determining if it will become a standing tradition in UVM programming. Over the past few years the popularity of decade themed weekends gained notable attention amongst student programmers. After last year’s success of 80’s weekend, students were once again brought back in time, and all the way back to the 1990’s. UPB took students back to the time when the only party they sought out was right in front of their television set with TGIF, showing episodes of “Full House” and “Boy Meets World.” The dirty days of grunge was also captured with a Pearl Jam cover band. Decade themed weekends and events such as Billings Bedlam, and Midnight Breakfasts take a considerable amount of planning and organization, which fall into the hands of the Traditions Committee and the Variety and Special Events Committee. The Comedy and Speakers Committee are dedicated to maintaining UVM’s excellent reputation of bringing “Big Name” talent, such as Margaret Cho, Dane Cook, and Wanda Sykes. Currently, the committee is preparing for the April arrival of the critically acclaimed “Upright Citizens Brigade.” Working along side other student groups on campus is a must in order for UVM to maintain its distinction amongst other universities and colleges in bringing a high caliber of entertainment to the student body. The Arts, Culture, and Education Committee works collectively with various cultural awareness groups such as the Black Student Union to bring programs promoting diversity and social justice. The Harlem Gospel Choir’s performance last month at the Ira Allen Chapel would not have been as successful without the collaboration of the two student groups. Likewise, the Music Committee, along with SA Concerts, represents the joint forces in booking a majority of the musical talent that reaches UVM. Currently, UPB is preparing for a loaded amount of events and programs. Friday April 7th kicks off “Western Weekend” with a fiesta happening in Billings from 8pm-1am and ending bitter sweetly, with a Saturday night screening of “Brokeback Mountain.” The films, “Syriana” and “Match Point” will also be showed this month. Rock climber, author, and photojournalist Mark Synnott will be speaking about his adventures on April 20th. And of course, the renowned “SpringFest” will take place the last weekend in April, featuring Soulive, Gov’t Mule, Toots, and the Maytals. To find out about other events sponsored by Program Board and happenings in the Burlington area visit www.uvm.edu/~bored.