SPB supplies campus with fun
With constant dances and concerts on campus, many students are left wondering how the College is able to put together such a packed schedule. The group responsible for this continual supply of fun is the Student Programming Board (SPB), a branch of the Campus Life Office that is comprised of and run by students.
SPB originated as "a child of the administration when they formed the Campus Life office," Publicity and Recruitment Chair Sam Helm '12 said. Since its formation in the early 2000s SPB has grown substantially in size and split into multiple committees that address the many needs of the group.
The group currently has six committees: Entertainment Showcase, chaired by Meghan Kelly '12, Campus Collaboration, co-chaired by Michael Herriman '12 and Lindsay Dale '12, Live Music, chaired by Devin Burkhart '11, Cinematic Productions, chaired by Elliott Ruvelson '13, Spirit and Recreation, chaired by Caitlyn Fleming '11 and Publicity and Recruitment, chaired by Helm.
The President's Council is comprised of President Nikki Jacobson '12, Vice President Jo Bellairs '11 and Treasurer Mo Quinn '12.
"When I describe SPB, I explain it basically like we are the social directors of the campus," Jacobson said. "We keep campus busy on the weekends, with anything from dances to concerts to tailgates and other performers."
While the administration requires the group to sponsor events every weekend, SPB has a lot of control over the events that ultimately take place. "We can really do any type of event we want. Our main goal is to have a variety of events that students will find fun," Quinn said. "Because the events are for students, we always like to hear ideas other students have for events. Some of our best events have come from students' ideas."
Despite the College's small student body, the events sponsored by SPB generally boast great attendance rates. So far this year the group has hosted the Colby Carnival Welcome Week and Carnival Loudness, a bowling night, a showing of Caddyshack and a campus golf tournament. A comedian is scheduled to perform on campus this weekend.
"As a general rule, Colby is extremely supportive of our events. I had a friend at bowling night tell me she wouldn't miss an event that we did, so that kind of enthusiasm and support justifies the effort that we put in to events," Helm said.
"Attendance is a shot in the dark; if it's a busy weekend on campus we're less likely to get attendance, and sometimes we're surprised [by] attendance. It really boils down to academic schedules and sports teams, because such a significant portion of campus winds up traveling on weekends."
Even though many students pass on commonplace weekend events like movie showings, certain special activities that seem to attract almost the entire student body. Loudness dances and big-name concerts are heavily attended, and require of the members of SPB a much longer planning process.
"For bigger concerts, we work with a talent agent to find acts [that are] available for our price range and also available to come to Maine," Jacobson said. Prior popular acts have included Naughty By Nature, Super Mash Bros, Big Boi, Guster, Cake, Common, Citizen Cope and Dane Cook. This fall"s big concert is the Dropkick Murphys, who are set to perform on Halloween.
"We really try to bring a variety of music genres to campus because our ultimate goal is to bring something for everyone at Colby," Jacobson said.
Many upperclassmen likely noticed the absence of one of SPB's formerly famous events at this fall"s Loudness: the annual paint dance. "We didn't have a paint dance this year because there was a major problem with dorm damage last spring," Quinn said. "Dana, in particular, was covered with paint. Paint dances are also really difficult to work and control, leaving many SPB members unwilling to work the event again."
"We're hoping to do a glow dance during the year to supplement the paint dance," Helm added.
As a whole the group is striving to better collaborate with other clubs on campus to create the best experience possible for the student body.
"As President of SPB, I hope to see well-thought out programs this year that are well attended," Jacobson said.
For information on future SPB events, on campus, keep an eye out for signs in Pulver, throughout the residence halls and notices on the General Announcements.