Donate to the National Wildlife Federation

Read Stephen’s post about the oil spill?  Not sure what you can do about it?  Want to help?

The National Wildlife Federation is doing all they can to help safeguard and clean up the wildlife devastated by this catastrophe.  Learn more here:

Click here to show some J Maddy love and donate to the National Wildlife Federation. 


If Not Just For The Turtle’s Sake…

Hey JMU.  My name is Stephen and I am the UPB President for the upcoming year.  My life throughout the school year consists mainly of balancing working with the student activities organization with a social life, as well as staying on top of a double major and other extra-curricular activities.  I know that I’m not alone when I say that since arriving on campus as a freshman – JMU is my life.  I get so caught up in what is happening in the immediate that the rest of the world, as vast as it may be, seems to somehow slip through the cracks.

Now summer is here, and the whirlwind of responsibilities has stopped.  I was able to step outside the comfort of the James Madison bubble and look at what was really happening beyond the Harrisonburg scope for the first time in months.  I had heard some news in passing, but this May I learned the truth.  The world is facing one of the worst marine disasters since the Exxon-Valdez crisis in the 1980s.  In the aftermath of the April 20, 2010 accident, up to an estimated 1 million gallons of oil has been leaked into the Gulf of Mexico per day.  However, only 630,000 gallons are currently being recovered each day.

Not only are the humans who demand the oil facing trouble, the local wildlife also suffers.  Five different threatened and endangered species of sea turtle populate the affected area.  In less than two months, humans may have jeopardized the animals’ reproductive cycles that have been ongoing for over a millennium.  Shore clean-up crews have discovered almost 300 dead turtles compared to the average 30 turtles this time of year.

Conservative assessments claim that it could take up to 10 years for the endangered species to recover. Other experts are more skeptical.  “We’ve spent 28 years trying to restore this turtle, and we’re staring at the brink of extinction right now,” Pat Burchfield, head of the U.S. contingency of the Binational Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Recovery Project, said.  As the weeks pass conditions are not improving.  Local wildlife services report the total number of oily birds in the first week of June alone is over five times the past six weeks’ cumulative total.

While it may seem like a hopeless situation now, I see this situation with a positive outlook.  For my part, I want to strive to make sure that UPB upholds its responsibility to constantly remind students that the world is bigger than next week’s test or the big group presentation this semester.  If there’s ever a way for us to gain from bringing in speakers to hear their experiences from these types of tragedies, you can bet I’ll be looking into bringing them…….. If not just for the turtles sake.

– Stephen

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

Summer Living in NYC

In mid-May, I moved up to the city ready for an amazing (and hopefully relaxing) summer.  Although it’s been anything but relaxing, I’ve had a great time so far!  I have a full-time internship at Karlitz & Company (a culinary and luxury lifestyle event planning agency) as their Luxury Marketing intern.  As part of my job, I get to research new event concepts and potential partners, scope out event venue locations, source gift bag items, and work as on-site event management.  The highlight so far has been working a private Elton John concert at the Lincoln Center.  Although it didn’t quite top a Convo concert, it was pretty amazing!! 
Other than work, my roommates and I have been exploring the city like its our job.  Gramercy and the Flatiron District (where we live) is young and bustling.  Chelsea and the Meatpacking District is up-and-coming and super modern.  The villages are very unique with charm and character.  And the Upper East/ West Sides are older and more sophisticated.  And Midtown- it’s just too touristy!
  UPB-wise, the entire Exec board has been hard at work putting together events for this upcoming semester; and let me tell you, we have some AMAZING events coming!   From the Late Night Breakfasts to hilarious speakers to diverse concerts, this Fall will be jam-packed with exciting events all over campus.  And don’t forget, you can have your voice heard on who YOU want to see live in concert at the Fall Convocation concert.  All you need to do is click here and VOTE! 
I guess that’s it for now.  Keep checking all summer long to hear from all of Exec who will give you a peek into their summers and what events they are most looking forward to in the Fall!
Happy Summer!

Spend the Summer with UPB

Hey JMU-

It’s officially summer- which means time for the UPB blog to get back up and running!

My name is Mitch Ramey, and I am the Public Relations Director of the University Program Board for 2010-2011.  With that title, it is now my responsibility and pleasure to be in charge of UPB’s blog.  The idea for a blog began last year when we decided that we wanted to increase our availability, transparency, and conversations with the JMU students. Everything UPB does is with the students in mind, and we are constantly looking for new suggestions and constructive criticism to make our programs the best that they can be.  The blog became a success last year, and I hope you continue to read and check up frequently, as myself, members of the Executive Board, and general body members all contribute to give you a “behind-the-scenes” look at one of JMU’s most active student organizations!  Along the way, we would love to hear comments, be given constructive criticism, and take suggestions for future programs! 

During the summer, I thought it would be a fun idea to show an inside look at who the Executive Board is for the 2010-2011 school year, and what we are up to this summer.  So here it goes…