Will Johnson: Newly-elected PB chair

Longtime Program Board member Will Johnson ’13 was elected Program Board chair for the 2012/2013 school-year. Program Board held elections early this year, allowing Johnson time to shadow the current chair before he takes over the post in the fall. This week The Mac Weekly sat down with Johnson to chat about his experiences with the board and his plans for next year.

The Mac Weekly: You’re entering this position as a longtime member of Program Board. What in your experiences on the committee drove you to run for the chair position?

Will Johnson: Over the past year and a half, I’ve had a really good time working with the rest of the Program Board, and I wanted to continue to do that. I thought that my experience would be beneficial for the chair position, and that I could do a good job.

What have you seen of former chairs that you plan to continue when you take over? Are there any new perspectives or initiatives you plan to bring forward?

I think that Audrey has done a great job this year, and I want to build on what she’s been doing. I think that our spending this year has been very efficient, and that we’ve done a better job of really making sure we are doing the most we can with student activity funds. This year we have also been very conscious of planning well in advance and being aware of what else is happening on campus, which I think is important. We’ve been able to really cut down on over-programming and redundancy on some nights and weekends, and then having nothing going on the next. One thing I’d like to see more of is collaboration between student organizations and PB.

Since elections were held early to provide you with time to shadow the current chair, what kinds of training will you go through between now and the fall?

There is a lot that the PB chair does that I don’t get to see at meetings. Because I have lots of experience in the meetings and at events, I think a lot of the shadowing will involve understanding how the PB chair fits within the larger structure of MCSG and the school. I’ll go with Audrey to LB meetings, exec board meetings, and hopefully sit in on some of her discussions with administration.

What will be your biggest projects as chair of the committee? Springfest is on everyone’s mind at this time of year, but that’s surely not the only part of the job.

Obviously the two biggest projects each year when I’ve been on the board have been Winter Ball and SpringFest. But it is important to note that these aren’t my projects. They are, for the most part, organized by the Concerts/Festivals and Traditions coordinators. There is still a lot to discuss and decide regarding the future of Winter Ball, and I think that it’s a good conversation to have. With other projects, most of the decisions are made by those coordinators and their sub-committees, and then talked over and modified by the board as a whole. The job of the chair is to use his/her experience to help make sure that all the events are thoroughly evaluated before being approved, and once they are approved, making sure that they are executed to the best of our ability. Overall, I hope that we can improve on projects that have had success with in the past, as well as experiment with new programs so that the board doesn’t fall into a rut of just doing the same events over and over. We are beginning the search for next year’s coordinators very soon. The positions are Publicity, Cinema, Concerts/Festivals, Social, Traditions, and Off-Campus. Anybody that wants to get involved can email me at [email protected], and should keep an eye out for more news.