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.