SU proposes merging SPB president and VP Programming positions

| Senior News Editor

Student Union proposed a new structure for Social Programming Board at a joint session of SU Senate and Treasury, Sept. 3.

The new structure would eliminate the role of Social Programming Board (SPB) president. Instead, SPB would report to the Student Union (SU) Vice President of Programming. Events overseen by VP of Programming such as Trending Topics and Game Day would also fall under SPB governance.

The student body will vote on the proposed structure change Sept. 17. If the measure passes, it will take effect when SPB leadership changes in October. This would be the first time the leader of SPB is an elected individual, rather than chosen through an application process.

“The whole point of making the VP of Programming over SPB is to add some sort of accountability, due to past grievances brought by the student body,” SU President junior Tyrin Truong said. “[SPB’s] exec does need to have a certain skill set. When you just elect the VP Programming to oversee SPB, that still gives them the opportunity to recruit people with those skill sets, while also maintaining a sense of accountability because the VP Programming is elected by the student body.”

According to VP of Programming junior Charlotte Pohl, the new structure also includes a board of nine directors who will be chosen through an application process. The Executive Director and the Finance Director will serve directly under VP of Programming. The Speakers Director will coordinate Trending Topics and SPB’s comedy shows and the Campus Traditions Director will oversee Happy Hours and Game Days

“Our reasoning for restructuring SPB was to make it easier to program more events more efficiently, so we reformed the positions in a way that more evenly distributes the workload,” Pohl wrote in a statement to Student Life. “That being said, my main goal for SPB is to program events the study body wants to attend and to expand our programming to reach more students.”

SPB president junior Adin Ehrlich said that SU is looking into changing the general board structure in order to have more people on SPB.

If the proposal for the new structure passes, the upcoming term for SPB’s executive board would be shorter, ending in March to coincide with SU’s executive board elections. Ehrlich said that he does not believe that merging the two positions will affect programming in any way.

“I’m glad we were able to do this because it’s important that the student body has more accountability from SPB, especially because we have a lot of money, and that’s something that I firmly believe—that students should have a say in where that goes,” Ehrlich said. “I’m glad that this happened and I think that it’ll help make the Wash. U. campus a better place.”

Truong said that he thinks the new SPB structure would make programming better.

“I think it would make it more inclusive and just overall more accountable, because [SPB] plan[s] to have more town halls, that sort of thing, to get more input from the student body,” Truong said.

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