The race for Program Board executive chair sets itself apart this campaign season. It has not been marred by any sort of violations of campaign rules and regulations – or by the bitter factions that usually accompany elections. It is heartening to see the two candidates for PB chair, who have spent years working together in PB, and treat each other with respect and courtesy.
At the Joint Elections Committee’s debate forum on Monday, the two had very similar ideas for how to improve next year’s Program Board. Mike Jewsberry later said the only thing that separated him from his opponent Brian Nathanson was about five feet and a wall, the space between their offices.
We agree. It was impossible for us to agree on a candidate to endorse. Both Jewsberry and Nathanson have experience, ideas and high expectations for PB. Ideally, we would choose both candidates to serve as “co-executive chairs.” Unfortunately, only one will be chosen next week.
Both candidates want to bring new people into PB. Both want to garner more attention and support from as many different segments of GW’s demographics as possible. Both want to put on programs that will give PB a reputation as the party organizers.
The major difference between the two candidates is the type of experience the two have had at PB. Jewsberry this year is responsible for PB’s advertising. In past years he was concert crew chief and a work study in the PB office. His style and personality are laid back and relaxed. He asserts that the excitement of an event is more important than simple bean-counting.
Jewsberry wants to tap into the advertising and funding arms of the University Office of Special Events – but stresses the appeal of small, targeted programs and intimate concerts. He hopes to attract greater numbers of grad students, offer give-aways to get students to GW athletic events and work more with GW’s Greek-letter organizations.
Nathanson brings his experience as PB’s corporate sponsorship chair and potential financial point man. As executive chair, he would help direct “not just programs – but events.” He says GW students should have truly memorable occasions when they compare college experiences with high school friends. Organization and financial foresight will boost PB’s capacity to think big, he says.
He looks to create programming with the widest appeal possible. By putting on some really good events, Nathanson hopes PB’s reputation will rise to the point where people will want to come to PB events simply because the PB is organizing it. He says he would administer a survey and call students to gage their programming wants in the opening weeks of his chairmanship.
Regardless of who wins the race for Program Board executive chair, next year’s PB will be in good hands. Either Nathanson or Jewsberry will be an effective and creative leader. We strongly urge whoever wins to keep the other deeply involved in the running of PB. The two candidates have solid ideas and a great working relationship. It would be a tremendous loss for both PB and GW if the two did not continue working together.