SPB to implement changes following controversy surrounding fall 2017 WILD

Zachary Berman | Staff Reporter

Social Programming Board plans to enact new changes to both its constitution and events after the controversy surrounding the choice of Lil Dicky as this semester’s WILD headliner, its executive board announced in a town hall meeting Thursday night.

According to SPB, the executive board will promote student inclusivity and diversity, freshman outreach and communication transparency in the upcoming semester.

Junior and SPB president Dina Guilak expressed confidence about the new direction in which SPB is heading.

“As a new exec board, we are really focused on moving forward and making changes with new events we have planned. We have talked to Senate and Treasury and have received a lot of feedback,” Guilak said.

SPB has three main goals for the upcoming semester. The first is to be more inclusive, a move which follows the frustration students felt in October following the selection of Lil Dicky as fall WILD’s headliner. Guilak, as well as sophomore and WILD Director Evelyn Shao, reiterated the importance of fairly representing all Washington University students during the town hall.

“We are representing the entire student body. We are here for the entire student body,” Guilak said. “We have to make sure that our programming is accessible to everybody and is something that the whole school wants to see happen. We want to be inclusive of all views and backgrounds.”

“We are receiving training from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion [CDI] to make sure we are making choices that do reflect the diversity of the campus,” Shao added.

One major change, as originally outlined in a Sept. 27 statement made by SPB, includes opening up the selection process for WILD artists. While the previous SPB statement said the group would open up the initial phase of the selection process to its full executive board—rather than just the WILD director, as is currently done—the new executive board is open to other influencers, such as the CDI, Diversity Affairs Council and Student Union, when selecting artists. SPB believes that setting these new changes in stone will prevent further and promote diversity and inclusivity in all future events.

“The outgoing [executive] board put out a statement on our Facebook page about changes that should be made going forward. Now, we are executing them. So, our first act as a [new] executive board was to put these in our constitution,” Guilak said.

Additionally, SPB hopes to increase freshman outreach. Guilak explained that she, along with other junior and senior executive board members, wish they had known about more SPB events when they were freshmen. Now, according to freshman and Production Director Adin Ehrlich, SPB’s board plans to utilize the underpass, as well as emails and a Happy Hour-style event at Ursa’s, to make sure that freshman know about upcoming events and can use them to enhance their collegiate social experience

“We are trying to boost outreach to the freshman class.” Ehrlich said. “we will be reserving an underpass panel for a lot of the year to promote events.”

SPB’s last big goal is communication transparency. Part of this includes hosting bimonthly forums, as previously mentioned in the board’s public statement.

According to Guilak, similar events will be held in the future where students can ask questions, find out about upcoming events and meet the executive board, even tthough not many students showed up to Thursday’s town hall.

“We are hoping to have two or three [SPB town halls] per semester so that people can meet us and chat in an informal setting,” Guilak said.

“This year, we are all about transparency and accountability,” sophomore and SPB Vice President of Membership Rithvik Kondai said.