Features

Program Board: making events “by the peers, for the peers”

On and off-campus activities throughout the semester seem to appear from thin air, and students have come to expect them. Program Board is responsible for most of these events. Program Board is made up of “a bunch of students that do programming for their peers so they can have a good time,” Program Board Chair Olivia Doe said.

This “by the peers, for the peers” philosophy is necessary for organizing events, especially because Program Board relies heavily on student input. Program Board is a branch of MCSG, which works to create an emphasis on student voice and opinion when it is time to plan an activity.

Program Board is concerned with the student attendance at activities because it determines which are successful. However, Doe revealed they have never needed to worry about this because Program Board plans events according to what has worked in previous years. In addition, surveys are usually sent to students to give input about future events, and feedback on previous events. Students most likely will be familiar with the Traditions Coordinator, who is responsible for planning events that are popular on campus: Winter Ball, Kagin, Rocky Horror. However, there are seven coordinator positions, in which students plan events depending on the location and character of their activities. For example, first-year coordinators are primarily responsible for “giving one-fourth of the student population a voice so that they enjoy new experiences.”

Doe noted that all coordinator positions organize activities that students want and are well-known. These coordinator positions cover on-campus, off-campus, concerts and festivals, and cinema activities. They are responsible for organizing the following events so far this year: Field Day, Bingo for Books, movies in JBD, apple picking, and the state fair tickets.

To ensure a successful turnout, Program Board aims to design creative advertisements through their flyers and announcements. They plan a layout for flyers depending on the activity, and look to produce eye catching descriptions on social media and The Daily Piper. Recently, they experimented with having someone dress up in a costume to draw attention and hand out flyers directly to students walking around campus.

After Program Board interviews students and chooses student coordinators, they spend an extra week after students leave for the summer to plan Welcome Week, as well as begin to schedule activities for the first two months. This leaves time during the year to plan activities well ahead of time. In addition, it allows Doe and the staff to account for “a hidden cost,” she explained. “[T]here are many events we have to reserve spaces for, call services like Bon Appétit or Security or get info on special deals for students.”
To find out more about upcoming Program Board events, visit http://macalesterpb.weebly.com.

October 20, 2016

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