University Programming Council proposal to reduce membership

University Programming Council proposal to reduce membership

The University of North Alabama’s University Programming Council will reduce its number of members, pending the passing of a constitutional amendment spring 2019.

UPC’s Student Government Association Program Council Vice President Rebecca Bush presented a proposal of a membership reduction of 36 members to 10 paid members at the SGA Senate meeting Jan. 17. This proposal includes a restructuring of UPC’s current 36 delegate policy to a 10 member council.

“The purpose of this change is to improve the quality of student events funded by the activity fee through the following objectives: create an organizational structure that creates more accountability for members, increase efficiency in operation, increase the communication and planning capacity of the organization and create a quality brand of student events,” Bush said.

UPC is a group of student delegates selected each year by SGA to plan events for campus.

If the proposed change is passed through the student Senate, students will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal.

“I think the proposal is excellent,” said SGA President Chase Holcombe. “Right now, UPC is structured in a very bureaucratic way. It’s out of line with programming councils at other universities and it fails to deliver the professionalism and continuity that we need in our event planning.”

Holcombe added if this proposal is passed in a constitutional amendment this semester, UPC would be restructured in the fall.

Bush visited the University of Alabama at Huntsville, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama over winter break to see how each campus maintains its programming council.

“I have had the privilege of serving on UPC the last three years as service chair, pro-tempore, and now Vice President,” Bush said. “This experience has shown me the both the positives and negatives attached to the way we operate. Therefore, after noticing several things that could be accomplished better, I decide to begin talking with other students and researching the ways our sister universities operate their program councils.”

UAH has a student body of 10,000 and 10 members on its UPC, UAB has a student body of 23,000 and a 20 member council and UA has a student body of 54,000 and 28 members on UPC. UNA’s student body approximates 7,500 students with a 36 member council.

“Right now, we have too many members with too little training and no compensation,” Holcombe said. “I believe that changing the structure to compose UPC of ten paid members would increase the effectiveness of the group.”

The new proposal includes a restructuring of UPC and the roles of each member. The council will comprise of one vice president and nine members. According to the proposal, members will have more specialized roles and training for positions.

“We will also be creating a operating manual that will go into more specifics,” Bush said.

One student will preside as the vice president and organizational leader. The remaining nine members will be responsible for one of the following roles: developing an annual marketing plan and standards, cocurricular programming, productions, student union programming, welcome and orientation events, service events, spirit events, face for brand promotions and designing all promotional materials.

Each of the 10 members will be responsible for a single role; however, volunteers from the student body and SGA will help each UPC delegate execute events.

Individuals will be chosen to fulfill roles based off of aptitude to perform a specific role.

“Any specific requirements would be laid out in a UPC handbook that will be created if and when the restructuring occurs,” Holcombe said. “However, it is worth noting that the members would be required to meet the expectations of the individuals that hired them because they could be terminated if they fail to provide just like in any other job.”

Previous UPC member requirements according to the SGA constitution include: students must be enrolled as a full-time, must fill out an application to serve as a UPC delegate, must maintain a cumulative scholastic grade point average of 2.25 or higher and must not serving on any other branch of SGA including SGA Senate or Freshman Forum.

UPC Line Item will fund the positions. According to the proposal, UPC line item will allocate $7.25 an hour to members and the total staffing budget will equal $82,391.50. This amount includes the proposal of a full-time coordinator or programming position. This position would include a salary of $55,059 plus benefits.