Program Board Executive Chair Brian Nathanson says he was left working largely alone this summer when many members of the group’s executive board left campus after finals.
But Nathanson says an empty office hasn’t meant PB’s plans for the coming year have slowed down.
Nathanson said he already has booked rooms for general meetings and executive board meetings, and reserved space for the film series and religion week events.
But his biggest project this summer, he said, was coordinating Fall Fest – just four weeks away.
Plans for Fall Fest, the annual celebration on the Quad, are nearly 80 percent complete, Nathanson said. Four bands are expected to perform at the event, but the executive board has not voted on which bands will play.
“They will be bands that people have heard of, but they aren’t $50,000 bands,” Nathanson said.
Fall Fest is scheduled for Sept. 12, which Nathanson said is later than it is usually held. PB considered holding it sooner as part of Welcome Week, or pushing it back to alumni weekend, Nathanson said. But logistics kept it from being included in Welcome Week and the alumni weekend date would have put it during midterms.
No alcohol will be served at this year’s Fall Fest. Students 21 and older could drink beer on the steps of the law school at last year’s Spring Fling, a similar event planned by PB during the spring semester.
Nathanson said many factors, including revisions being made to the University’s alcohol policy, were considered when making the decision not to serve alcohol at Fall Fest.
“(Having alcohol at events) worked to some extent last year because more grad students came to events, and nothing is to say that we won’t have alcohol at Spring Fling or Homecoming again this year,” Nathanson said. “But I am not as big a proponent of having it at events as my predecessor was.”
After Fall Fest, Nathanson said PB plans to host a fall concert, tentatively scheduled for late September or early October, “before basketball season starts.”
But not all PB plans are moving along as quickly – the group’s political affairs and graduate programming committee chairs are vacant, a situation Nathanson said concerns him.
“Obviously Fall Fest is number one on the list of priorities,” he said. “But those two vacancies are pretty high up there. We need to fill those vacancies, but we also need to wait for the right person for each of them.”
Nathanson said he has used his summer to find ways to make PB more accessible to students.
He said he hopes moving the general meetings from the PB office to a larger room in the Marvin Center will encourage more students to attend. Once a week, PB holds general meetings where committee chairs report on upcoming events and ideas.
The layout of the PB office makes people feel they cannot participate in meetings, Nathanson said. Attendance at general meetings dropped to the low twenties at times last year, and fifteen of those who attended were committee chairs. He said he hopes the change will keep attendance figures for general meetings at 35 or higher.
“The biggest thing is to make sure people know if they let us know what they are interested in doing in terms of programming, we can find a mechanism to do it,” Nathanson said.