Student Events plans restructure
In the interest of involving more of the student body in its operations, Student Events has begun to restructure its club to increase membership size and streamline club function, with changes to go into effect next semester.
In the fall of this year, Student Events members began talks about changing the way the group is structured, but it was not until this semester that they started to actually envision a restructuring of the club's leadership, Student Events Executive Director Samantha Gordon '14 wrote in an email to the Justice.
At the National Association for Campus Activities Convention, which was held in Boston in February and was attended by members of college programming groups similar to Student Events, the group was exposed to many new ideas about ways to restructure its current system and optimize the process. For instance, the idea of having an executive board to run the club and then a general committee to seat the rest of the club's members, Gordon wrote, comes from a student group they met from Quinnipiac University.
"I also met with first year general board member students from schools in Kentucky, Texas, and California [at the conference]. They all seemed to have this similar formatting and it works at these other institutions," she wrote. The Quinnipiac group accommodates over 100 general board members, which, Gordon wrote, "really allows for student body input," something that Student Events will be implementing in the upcoming year by increasing the number of positions on their own board.
Brandeis' new Associate Director of Student Activities Stephen Pagios, who joined the staff this spring, elaborated on the process of expanding Student Events in an interview with the Justice.
"At the end of the day, the point of the restructure is opening up Student Events to more Brandeis students to take part in," he said.
Currently, Paigos said, Student Events is operated by a team of five directors-directors of concerts, entertainment, finance, public relations and social programs-who work under an executive director. Some coordinators work underneath this team, he said, and all together, this group of under 20 students runs the entirety of Student Events.
Restructuring the club to include more members and student body input will change its regular meeting functions as well, Pagios continued. Pagios said that he envisions that "[the] biggest component to it is there is now going to be an active general board membership," as opposed to the current structure, which does not include a general board. He said that, ideally, the club will hold "a weekly meeting that's open to the whole campus, that people can come and each department can give updates, and there might be some brainstorming."
Gordon wrote that, once the new general board is established, "[w]e will first start with an introduction meeting in which we will give overviews of the departments and let the attendees choose which department is most interesting to them." From there, she said, the directors will lead individual meetings for each department with the general board members, during which they will go through the process of planning large scale events.
Student Events will most likely hold general board meetings on a monthly basis, Gordon wrote, but affirmed that the specific details will be determined by the incoming executive director for Student Events for the 2014 to 2015 academic year, Rachel Starr '15.
Pagios said that holding meetings that will be more widely attended will ultimately give more people a chance to apply for the club's director positions, "since more people will know what Student Events is like, because, ideally, they'll be on the general board."
Once the general committee is established and its members have the opportunity to participate in departments within the group, Gordon wrote that this could mean each department could be staffed by 10 to 15 people. Anyone could apply to be a member of the general committee.
In order to begin involving more students who are not currently affiliated with Student Events, the group plans to advertise opportunities for involvement on Facebook and at the student involvement fair in fall 2014, Gordon wrote, in addition to implementing an advertising plan that Student Events' public relations director will produce. "Already, people have asked me about how to get involved next year without applying to Student Events so it's exciting that we have students who are ready to jump right in," she added.
-Sarah Rontal contributed reporting.