by Andrew Doran
Attending college is full of fun moments, such as making friends, creating memories and enjoying the process of being a college student. There are events on CI’s campus all the time, which makes it easier to create memories with new or old friends. One area on campus that brings these events to life is the Student Programming Board (SPB).
Overall, the purpose of SPB is to increase CI’s student engagement through cultural, educational and social programming. “We serve the student body in that capacity. We plan for large-scale events…campus wide,” said Deanna Villagran, president of SPB “We collaborate with different organizations on campus, have different clubs come to our events to participate and just spread awareness not just about what we do but what other departments on campus do, too.”
A good example of SPB hosting an event that will also benefit another group on campus is their upcoming event, the Grocery Lotería on Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union Lighthouse Cafe. Not only does it help students win some free groceries, but it helps bring awareness to the Basic Needs Program and the Dolphin Pantry on campus. “We will have the Basic Needs Program there, providing students, hopefully, with the opportunity to talk with representatives,” said Villagran.
While Grocery Lotería might be one of the smaller events that SPB puts on, they are always focused on creating larger events, especially the traditional events like the International Fair in the fall and Dolphinpalooza in the spring. This year, SPB is looking towards revamping the International Fair, which will be held in the middle of November. “In the past few years we’ve had a pretty good turnout, but we want more student involvement. The students always come for the food and then go home,” said Villagran. “It’s usually like that, so we’re trying to revamp it and try to make changes to it, like possibly adding a night market to it.”
Even with these large events, the organization is always looking to change and grow with the student body at CI. “Our biggest goal ultimately, no matter the year…is student engagement, whether that means higher attendance rates, or having students come and enjoy themselves,” said Villagran.
In order to gauge this, SPB is always creating forms that students can fill out when they are at events in order to grow the organization and find ways to get more students involved and participating in these events. Without these forms, SPB would struggle to find a way to connect with students on campus.
If students are interested in joining SPB, they meet every Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. in the Coville Conference Room in the Student Union Building. According to Villagran, they are always looking for more students because of the amount of work that goes into these events. If students are looking just to join the general board, “our general board members come up with ideas and feedback. They create the events from the ground up.” But if individuals are looking to get more involved, then they can become a program manager. “Our program managers are more heavily involved. They do more of the logistical, behind-the-scenes things, like contacting vendors,” said Villagran.
In the end, SPB just wants students to enjoy themselves while they are at CI. Villagran tied together why SPB enjoys creating events for CI. “We love programming events that students want to see. We just love doing this. It’s stressful and crazy, but it’s so rewarding at the end seeing all the students enjoying themselves on campus.”