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Program Board focuses on spring lineup as semester concludes

Program Board paid $103,050 to bring performers and businesses to campus for the 2016 fall semester.

Damon Brown, director of the Office of Student Activities and Involvement, said the organization’s 2016-17 budget is $325,000.

Program Board spent the largest amount of money on the Back to School Comedy Jam on Sept. 8 in McGuirk Arena. Former “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Pharoah cashed in at $35,000, while Michael Blackson and DC Young Fly earned $17,500 and $12,500, respectively.

The second-largest payout was to former Clemson and NFL football player Daniel Rodriguez, who gave a Veterans Day speech in Plachta Auditorium on Nov. 10 for $12,500.

In addition to businesses and performers, Program Board also spent money on movies. It has a contract with Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. — a movie distributor and licensor. When Program Board requests a movie to show on campus, Swank will provide them the film close to the intended date.

While the organization’s year-end report has yet to be released, Brown said the group has about $120,000 to work with for the 2017 spring semester. Program Board will host a concert in McGuirk Arena toward the end of the semester.

Program Board is on-par with money spent after the fall semester compared to previous years, and Brown said numbers are normal for the middle of the academic year.

“There’s a need for campus entertainment and the stuff Program Board is bringing has appealed to the students here on campus,” Brown said.

Hartland junior Marissa Mattioli, Program Board special events co-director, said the group is in the process of booking rooms for next semester. She said Program Board wants to announce a concert headliner during the winter break and finalize its lineup before next semester.

Mattioli said the spring semester is harder to plan because the concert takes up a huge chunk of the budget. She said Program Board is looking to book budget-friendly events that still generate a large turnout.

“Some people are more attracted to the concerts than the comedy, which is perfectly fine — that’s where we do get our biggest crowds,” Mattioli said. “I think us putting on a big show right in the beginning of the first semester and at the end of next semester is really going to help us out.”

Plymouth junior Angela Distelrath, Program Board executive director, said Program Board wants to continue with events that were successful this semester. She said a November trivia night had a good turnout and the group’s holiday Pinterest party brought in more than 100 people.

Distelrath said one area the group is looking to improve is general member turnout. With an executive board of nine members, Distelrath said there are about 20-30 active members.

Mattioli said the cancellation of Mainstage in August hurt the group by not being able to reach out to new members. She has been tasked with creating focus groups for next semester, which she said is still in the works but would generally involve the promotion of events.

Program Board has reached out to its audience via promotional tables and an online survey. Disteltrath said the survey helped the group gauge what type of genre students wanted in terms of booking a music artist.

As for next semester, Brown said a goal is to book events which makes students think. Distelrath said she is focused on bringing in more speakers.

“We’re really trying to stick with important topics for next semester that not just a certain group but a lot of students on campus can relate to,” Distelrath said.


About Evan Sasiela

Evan Sasiela is the University Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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