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Campus Activities Board Nears Halfway Mark Of Inaugural Fall Programming Schedule

At the halfway mark of the semester, the new Campus Activities Board (CAB) is well into its fall schedule and will now focus significant efforts on developing and marketing its brand. The board took over all programming responsibilities from UGBC at the beginning of the semester—aside from AHANA Leadership Council and GLBTQ Leadership Council events—and has since sponsored a variety of on-campus and off-campus events, including today’s Homecoming Weekend concert with rapper Shwayze and tomorrow’s Homecoming dance.

Kendall Stemper, president of CAB and A&S ’15, said that because the organization was so new it was initially concerned with ensuring all events were logistically sound. The Board began planning some of its events in April and throughout the summer, but now that the four programming departments have some experience actually putting on events, Stemper feels more comfortable formally discussing the organization’s brand with other members.

She and other members of the more than 75 students involved in CAB are in the process of fleshing out the organization’s constitution and setting cultural precedents for future administrations. Stemper said that much of the programming CAB puts on aims to be transparent and inclusive. Those principles will drive how they develop their brand.

“It’s exciting that we’re starting to get into that part of the year where we’ve had our learning curve … and now we’re really able to start developing our brand,” Stemper said.

“A big thing [for us] has been communicating to the student body who CAB is, as well as doing the specifics of providing the events in our various departments,” she said.

According to Paul Murphy, CAB’s faculty advisor and assistant director of Student Programming, CAB has an annual budget of roughly $500,000, which comes from the student activities fee, a $316 charge all students pay for the current academic year. About half of CAB’s budget goes toward live entertainment and includes fees not only associated with booking acts, but also for production. Production fees include police details, ticket printing, event security, sound, lighting, etc. Special Events is awarded one-third of the budget, and the remaining quarter of the budget is split up between Trips and Excursions and Campus Engagement. Any revenues made from events go back into CAB’s budget and can carryover year-to-year.

The four programming departments in CAB are Live Entertainment, Special Events, Trips and Excursions, and Campus Engagement. Live Entertainment—which last week hosted Judah Friedlander, an actor on 30 Rock and a standup comedian, and put on the Andy Grammer concert the week before—and Special Events plan larger-scale events a few times each semester, while Trips and Excursions and Campus Engagement have smaller, more frequent events. The Trips and Excursions department puts on a lot of the same events that UGBC’s BC2Boston used to.

“We feel that we’ve had a lot success with Trips and Excursions, which is kind of our off-campus department, because the already have a pretty [well-] established brand,” Kemper said. “They kind of adopted all the BC To Boston stuff that UGBC used to do.”

That department has offered students tickets to Red Sox games, The Lion King Broadway show, and an apple-picking excursion. Campus Engagement plans on-campus events that are typically more intimate, such as movie showings and Thursday-night trivia.

The two large-scale programming departments are just getting into their fall schedules. Special Events’ first event is Homecoming, which is tomorrow at the Sheraton Hotel Boston. Those events—and particularly ones that involve musical performances—require a great amount of time and effort in both the planning and execution stages. Stemper and others began planning for a fall concert in April.

To book certain high-profile acts the organization uses a third-party agent often used by the University. CAB informs the agent of their timetable, budget, and type of genre they’d like to bring to campus, and the agent works to find a good fit. Artists who are touring in the area around the specific timetable are the most likely candidates to book.

As CAB grows, it is constantly accepting new members and through its recruitment and retention department is placing individuals with departments they would work well with.

Featured Image by Tatiana Petrovick / Heights Staff

October 15, 2014