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The Blue & Gray Press | September 22, 2017

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SAE implements new umbrella system for programming clubs

SAE implements new umbrella system for programming clubs

By CHRIS MARKHAM

In the most recent in a series of changes to be implemented during the 2015-16 academic year, the Office of Student Activities and Engagement at the University of Mary Washington is implementing a new “umbrella system” with the goal of more easily organizing the funding of specific programming clubs.

The new system, called the College Programming Board, will encompass the three main production clubs on campus: University Programming Council (UPC), Giant Productions and Cheap Seats Cinema. Other existing clubs will also be brought under the umbrella for funding purposes.

According to Ethan Feuer, the director of SAE, the CPB will be a joint student-departmental led team made up of a student president, vice president and publicity manager. These three will manage an executive board comprised of student leaders of three committees that oversee both large-scale and Underground programs, live music and movie screenings.

“There are a multitude of advantages for this new model, such as the ability for student committees to know their budget a year out, for increased collaboration and for long term calendar planning,” said Feuer.

A finance committee will oversee the money going in and out of the CPB, with funds going toward events such as UPC’s Winter Carnival and Beach Bash, as well as Giant’s live concerts.

According to Feur the projected funding for Giant’s concerts will fluctuate around $90,000, while previous budgets have run from $100,000 to $200,000. The clubs will reportedly hold uniform budgets. Cheap Seats and UPC will likely have the same budget under the new organization.

“Multiple universities across the Commonwealth and nation have recognized the benefit of these programming boards, and have moved in this direction,” said Feuer. “From discussing how to lessen the impact of budget cuts on student organizations, to devising means to increase collaboration and event scheduling, there were multiple conversations that led to the creation of this new system.”

According to Feuer, the goal of the new system is to establish well-balanced collaboration between clubs and its members.

The CPB will be student-run and student-led and leading members of UPC, Giant and Cheap Seats collaborate with the executive board to discuss what events they want for the year.

“One of the bigger changes reflected in the CPB model is the encouragement for collaboration between these three committees,” said Feuer. “Prior to CPB, each organization operated independently but we are all moving forward with a structure that brings these parties together under one roof.”

Notably left out of the umbrella was the UMW radio station, WMWC. Although WMWC does not use as much money as the other production groups, the lack of inclusion is one that may raise the eyebrows of those involved with the club.

According to Feuer, the Office of Student Affairs, with input from student leaders, chose a model that would be least disruptive, and easiest to implement.

“Among many benefits, smaller student organizations will gain a strong partner for collaboration in CPB,” said Feuer.

The CPB is a large shift from what UMW students involved in the impacted clubs are accustomed to and will take time for members to become acclimated with.

“Everyone here is excited for this new system,” said Feuer. “We think it offers students more opportunities to develop their leadership skills, to increase collaboration and to continue the tradition of a rich and dynamic programming culture here on campus.”

Edit: This article has been edited as of 3/20/15. The article previously stated the budget was proposed budget was $9,000. The correct number is $90,000.

Comments

  1. Claire Pickard

    I’m an alumna, and I’m extremely disappointed that they are treating Giant this way. Giant has always been the organization that did 100% of the work for concerts, and I don’t expect that will change. Only now, they’re working with a decimated budget and a “board” who is taking decisions about what performers to bring away from the members of the club. I’m glad I’m already gone so I don’t have to witness the “band” the university brings for $9,000.

  2. Anonymous

    I think they meant $90,000 they just missed a 0

  3. Lonnie

    This umbrella idea is good, as long as the separate entities can retain a certain amount of autonomy. Cross communication and effort is always a good thing. It is disappointing, though, for Giant to lose ultimate say over the musical acts. Still, the say is generally directed toward genre. It is extremely hard to get specific acts. It is not as simple as saying “I want Lady Gaga” and getting her. No, she has to agree, her schedule has to agree, and the school needs 400,000 dollars. I fear the board might not understand the imprecise process of booking.

    The biggest downside is the budget cut. While *90,000 (hopefully Anonymous above is right) is certainly better than 9,000, the figure is still, unfortunately, low. UMW students will need to be prepared to lower their expectations, because Giant has always worked with much more money and, despite a decrease in workload with this umbrella set up, the costs will not even out. The Passion Pit show from a few years ago cost much more than this new budget. That was one show and that year also saw Dr. Dog, David Garibaldi, and other, smaller acts.

    The school is in saving mode. We’ve bitten more than we can chew in many areas and now our student activities and academics (other story) are being impacted. It is logical to go here first. I just hope the student body can understand the new constraints and not blame Giant, as it so often does. 90,000 sounds like a lot of money, but it is but pocket change in the music business.

    Also, Giant has never had 200,000. At least not within the past 8 years. It has requested that amount, but never received such a budget.

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