Program Board shoots for the stars

By Matea Wasend

Whether it’s a staple event like Springfest or a screening of “Knocked Up,” most students on campus have probably attended an event run by the Program Board. “It’s nice.not every event that we do is super major,” lectures coordinator Angelina Momanyi said. “But [they] sort of help construct the overall vibe of the school year.”

The Program Board, which gets funding from MCSG, is made up of six students: Angelina Momanyi ’12, Mac cinema coordinator and vice chair Rachel Adler ’12, night life coordinator Eva Beal ’11, concerts and festivals coordinator Hank Coshnear ’12, off-campus events coordinator Micah Fowler ’12 and Program Board chair Katie Agnew ’11.

The five coordinators are all brand new to the board. Although it has been somewhat challenging with so little event planning experience, staff adviser to the Program Board Allison Greenlee “works closely with the coordinators to ensure they are working to their full potential.”

“I help to ensure that students feel prepared and responsible for their events,” Greenlee said.

A number of events are in the works for Halloween, including two movie screenings planned by Adler. “Donnie Darko” will play October 19 and “Psycho” October 26, both in the JBD Lecture Hall.

The Program Board might also provide students with discounted tickets and a ride to a haunted house called “Trail of Terror,” an event that has been successful in past years.

Agnew said that having a young board means fresh ideas, so this year the Program Board is planning a number of events it has never done in the past. Among those is a bi-weekly open mic night in the Student Lounge starting the weekend after Fallfest. Mac bands can sign up to play from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every other Saturday, and hot chocolate and tea will be provided.

There will also be a first-ever trip to a comedy show in Uptown called “Brave new workshop saves the planet, or yes we can but do we have to?” on Oct. 24, organized by Fowler.

The board is also thinking about some new ideas for next semester.

Adler is planning a film festival of student directed films based around a common, yet to be determined, theme. Agnew said she wants to work out a trip to be an audience member on “The Price is Right,” though admits this is rather improbable as the show is filmed in L.A.

“The rest of the board kind of rolled their eyes at me but I think it would be cool,” Agnew said.

The Program Board has made a particular effort to be visible on campus this year, Agnew said. In addition to publicity items like custom- labeled pens and condoms, the board is trying to support and collaborate with other student organizations to broaden their impact.

“I love it when students have a voice and give us feedback,” Agnew said. “Otherwise we don’t really know how the rest of campus is perceiving us.”

Feedback, whether positive or negative, tells Agnew that students are passionate about Program Board events. She recently received criticism about the way the board handled ticket sales to the David Sedaris and Decemberists shows, mostly because many students who wanted tickets didn’t get them. Only 50 tickets total were available, though the line at the Information Desk stretched out the Campus Center doors.

“We had absolutely no idea how many people would be interested in going,” Agnew said. “We try to gauge properly how many want to go, but it’s hard. We don’t want to overbuy.”

Another complaint was that because the board put the tickets on sale at noon on a weekday, many students weren’t able to wait in line to get a ticket because they had class. Some students could not buy tickets for their friends because the board limited sales to one ticket per student I.D.

Agnew said this strategy is better than last year’s, when the board would give tickets to the Information Desk to put on sale at an unspecified time. This led to an “unfair distribution” of tickets among students, who would only tell their friends when they found out the tickets were on sale. Students constantly asking about tickets, Agnew said, also “annoyed the info desk people.”

However, Agnew admitted that the timing of the ticket sales this year was not ideal. She and the other coordinators said it is exactly this kind of student input that will help the Program Board improve in the future. Whether it is feedback about events that have already happened or new event ideas for the future, the board invites students to share their opinions. As off-campus events coordinator last year, Agnew said she did every event that was suggested to her.

“Within reason,” she added.

“We are here to serve Mac students,” said Lectures Coordinator Angelina Momanyi. “If they want to see anything happen on this campus, all they have to do is ask.