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SUB starts off the year with hopes of rebranding and inclusion

| Friday, September 6, 2019

The second floor of LaFortune Student Center is home to Notre Dame’s own Student Union Board, or SUB for short. In a large room with walls decorated with posters from SUB’s past events, from “Dogs and Donuts” to “Cuddles and Cocoa,” students plan free events taking place on campus. 

SUB’s mission statement is to “enhance undergraduate student life by providing undergraduate student services and social, intellectual and cultural opportunities” for students on campus, but this year their main goal is to focus on diversity and inclusion, executive director Eric Kim said. 

Kim, a senior, said the inclusion aspect is especially important to SUB going forward. 

Photo courtesy of Eric Kim

Students gather on North Quad for a movie screening, one of the many free events hosted by Student Union Board (SUB) last year.

“We try to really try to incorporate the themes of diversity and inclusion,” Kim said. “Many people get confused … the idea is that it’s great to have a diversity of events, but people forget about the idea of inclusion. We want to make sure that all of our events have intentionality behind them, and we want to make sure that everyone feels included in all events, because our all our events are for the student body, and not just specific people.”

In the last year, SUB provided a packed audience with a talk by Karamo Brown, one of the stars of hit Netflix series “Queer Eye.” The group partnered with PrismND to sponsor Brown’s event. 

Kim said SUB wants to continue these partnerships in the upcoming year, in order to give students unique perspectives.

“[Brown] does provide a really interesting perspective that I would say a majority of the student body would benefit from,” Kim said. “We want to continue bringing that theme to this year, and providing a different perspective that a majority of students could benefit from.”

This is director of operations Siena Gruler’s first year working in SUB.

Gruler, a junior, said she and Kim want to brand SUB in a more recognizable way. 

“It’s my first year in SUB, and I didn’t really know what it was before I applied,” Gruler said. “We want the whole student body to know it. I’ve had people ask me like, ‘Oh, what do they do besides the concerts?’ So we want to expand that, and we want people to know what we are besides just the concerts.” 

Although SUB does host similar events yearly, Gruler said they do try to change up the kinds of events offered. 

“We try to make sure that they’re different from semester to semester from year to year, just to appeal to a different group on campus,” Gruler said. “We don’t want it to be too repetitive, even if we are programming the same types of events.”

SUB differs from other student groups such as the Student Activities Office (SAO) in that SAO primarily offers activities during the weekend that act as an alternative to partying, Kim said.

SUB is already beginning the year with a ‘Standup Bash,’ a free event showcasing different comedians and featuring LeClerc Andre, Tyler Boeh and Gina Brillon this Friday night. 

Aside from their unique events, SUB also hosts reliable events that happen weekly and monthly — including Acousticafé every Thursday night in Duncan Student Center and movie screenings in Debartolo Hall. 

Although the fall concert has not been announced yet, Kim and Gruler said plans have been in the works since this summer. 

“Usually, if it’s a bigger name and event, like the concert, speakers, comedians, magicians and others, we work that out two to four months in advance,” Kim said. 

Kim and Gruler urge students who have suggestions or ideas to contact SUB directly. 

“Ultimately, we want to do our job,” Kim said, “We want to make sure our jobs done correctly and efficiently. That can only be done through student input, so if students have ideas, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. We’re more than willing to listen to whatever it is, because these events are for them.”

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About Mariah Rush

Mariah is a senior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She is from the great city of South Bend, and serves as Managing Editor of The Observer. You can find her always on Twitter at @mariahfrush.

Contact Mariah