UCAB unites creativity and bliss

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August 31, 2007

2:22 PM

Their yellow T-shirts are ubiquitous — and no, they’re not Orientation Aides. Equally enthusiastic and spirited, a horde of yellow-clad staffers is the unmistakable sign of a UCAB event.
UCAB is the primary student-run programming body on campus. The executive board, advisers and 11 committees collaborate to bring entertainment aplenty to their peers at the College. It is their mission to “provide diverse, high-quality entertainment at a low cost to the College.”

p. Executive Director Brett Roth ’09 said that UCAB was “the first campus programming board of its kind that focused on school-wide activities” at the College and utilized the campus buildings as hosting venues. UCAB spearheads events both on and off campus to better reach the College community.

p. The list of UCAB’s committees includes comedy, music, films, contemporary and cultural issues, late-night programming, publicity, member enrichment, special events, web design and Homebrew, a weekly exhibition of student-performed music, poetry, drama or art.

p. With 120 members, UCAB is the largest programming body on campus. According to Roth, it produces upwards of 100 events every semester, not to mention the countless events it hosts in conjunction with other student organizations.

p. Roth describes UCAB as “an educational tool for all other organizations and individuals who are interested in publicizing, organizing and executing an event.”

p. UCAB collaborates not only with other student organizations, but also bridges the gap between students and the College administration. Joe Lowder, the assistant director of Student Activities Programming, and Will Thomson, a graduate assistant, advise the UCAB executive board.

p. As a body that strives to make campus fun, one can imagine the UCAB staffers themselves are, likewise, fun people. Students must apply to become part of a specific committee. The eclectic range of events they offer reflects the people behind the scenes. From presenting a carnival in William and Mary Hall on the last day of classes to recruiting My Chemical Romance to play a show on campus to periodically serving midnight breakfasts, UCAB offers something for everyone.

p. Of particular interest to students is the music committee. Its members are responsible for securing and presenting a band for the Homecoming concert in the fall, as well as for a spring concert. This year, UCAB is bringing Guster for the Homecoming concert. Lowder and Jeanna Occhiogrosso ’08, this year’s music committee chair, will scout bands with the rest of the committee for the spring concert that will fit within the UCAB budget and will appeal to students. Former UCAB concerts have included The Nappy Roots, Wilco and Ben Folds.

p. For UCAB, nothing is too ambitious to try. Last fall, students packed the University Center to meet Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum’s counterpart on the hit Bravo TV show “Project Runway.” Thomas Milteer ’09, current chair of contemporary and cultural issues committee, was pivotal in bringing the reality television star to campus. “A couple of people mentioned that it would be awesome if we could get Tim Gunn to come to campus, because we’re all huge fans of “Project Runway.” … I searched the internet and found his e-mail address,” Milteer said. Continued correspondence actualized the lofty goal and hundreds of students packed the UC for the popular event, while many more were turned away.

p. UCAB encourages student input to assist in its event planning, especially on its website, www.wm.edu/ucab. It is always looking to vary its events to satisfy as many people as possible.
For UCAB, no idea is beyond reach or consideration. Last year, it pioneered a school-sponsored tailgate before a football game in the Sunken Garden. Huge crowds and multiple food vendors guaranteed the event will recur again this fall.

p. The yellow T-shirt-clad UCAB members execute campus activities, but consider their efforts more collaborative than executive — they function as liaisons with students’ best interests in mind. To foster approachability, members hold office hours every day Monday through Friday in their office at the Campus Center in the Student Organizations Suite, room 19. UCAB strives to continually widen its appeal and draw greater crowds. “Having the freedom to come up with new events and bring them to life is one of the most rewarding parts of UCAB,” Director of the Late-Night Programming committee Brandon Nichols ’09 said.

p. Getting involved with UCAB is easy. Attend an event, browse the group’s website or even add UCAB as a Facebook friend. Of course, following the horde of yellow T-shirts works too. Every fall, 10 to 15 freshmen are selected as interns “to see the ins and outs of UCAB while getting to put on their own events,” Roth said. UCAB applications can be downloaded from the group’s website. Whether you choose to munch midnight breakfast, rock out to a UCAB-sponsored concert or even apply to the committee, UCAB will find a way to involve and excite you, whatever your fancy may be.

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