Social Programming Board merges, seeking leadership

Washington University’s biggest and highest funded student programming body is in the midst of a major facelift.

The Social Programming Board (SPB), which includes Team 31 Productions, the Gargoyle Committee and Campus Programming Council, is implementing structural changes to its system with the addition of new president, director and treasurer positions by next semester.

The new positions will be charged with facilitating interaction between the three groups and overseeing work done by each. Individual directors will still be in charge of planning events and programming, but the SPB president will now call meetings and facilitate communication among and within the groups.

“We’re hoping this will make the board more collaborative,” junior and Vice President of Student Union Programming Bailey Breems said. “Right now these entities don’t really work together, but we’re hoping this new board will help their events grow and facilitate more leadership and development with the members.”

Benefits of the new structure also include financial bargains and increased flexibility between programming events, Breems said.

“If we can see that students are becoming less interested in one event, we can shift our programming over to other events, allowing us to more easily change to what the student body needs and desires,” senior and Student Union President Julian Nicks said. “The new structure also allows people who have a mixed variety of interests that overlap join the board, rather than making them choose between one of the three groups to be involved in.”

Applications for president and treasurer were due Oct. 31, and applications for director are due Nov. 7 by 5 p.m.

“It seems like we have some good interest so far, both from people currently involved and some from outside members looking to join the board,” Breems said. “Because of the new structure, it’s going to take time for the board to grow and become an efficient machine, and of course we always want to see more students involved, but so far it’s looking really good.”

According to Breems, this structure is similar to ones implemented at other schools with similar programs and similar sizes as Washington University.

The timing of the structural changes coincided with the end of election cycles so that none of the groups’ leaders were pulled out of their roles early.

“I am eager to see how the exec presence will change [and] how these groups function,” junior Casey Hochberg, head of productions for Team 31, said. “I anticipate there will be better coordination between events and event leaders but hope the committee structure doesn’t take away from the sense of ownership and reward that comes from being on an exec board for one specific event.”

“The leaders we currently have are great leaders, and they’re great at what they do,” Breems said. “We’re just hoping to combine these groups in order to enhance communication and develop effective leadership skills.”

Students curious about the board or interested in joining can email programming@su.wustl.edu for more information.