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In Focus: Group’s organization, careful planning stand out

Teresa Fralish | Friday, January 21, 2005

When the Student Union Board’s managers took office last spring, they promised to deliver on three key principles – consistency, accountability and enthusiasm – and for the most part, the group has achieved exactly that.

After a year in which many students expressed dissatisfaction with SUB, this year’s board, led by manager Jimmy Flaherty, has focused on getting the basics right and making SUB accountable to the student body.

In that vein, good organization, attention to detail and high attendance at events stand out as positive accomplishments on the part of this year’s board.

During the spring and fall of last year, Flaherty and other programmers organized a wide variety of small-scale events well-received by students, including the new Fireside Chat series, Octdomer Fest, Old School on the Quad and a Best of AcoustiCafe program.

SUB also deserves a nod for planning well-run student ticket lotteries for away football games. After last year’s lottery debacle that many students termed unfair and poorly run, this year’s SUB implemented lotteries with fair and easily understood procedures. Each student was limited to entering six IDs per lottery and organizers set up many scanning stations to help prevent long lines.

However, the board has yet to announce definite plans for any large-scale entertainment events, such as concerts, on campus. In its efforts to ensure that student funds are well spent and that events are carefully conceived, the board may have traded creativity and the chance to attract big names.

This semester, Flaherty and his staff hope to focus on increasing student awareness of SUB and have plans for a variety of new events, including coordination on activities with hall councils, poetry slams, a collegiate jazz festival and a “Theology Throwdown” program.

On balance, SUB should be commended for its excellent organization, focus on student interests and solid, interesting programs like the Fireside Chat series and a revamped Battle of the Bands to be held outside in spring.