A Love Song for Valentine’s Day

Just because…

Watch past UPB performer Sara Bareilles’s Love Song music video below!  Have a great Valentine’s Day!


Transport Back To Medieval Times

All throughout elementary school, I can remember looking forward to fifth grade. All the kids celebrated “Medieval Day,” getting to dress up in fun costumes, eat medieval lunches, and make crafts all day. As a younger student, I can remember walking through the halls on the days leading up to “Medieval Day” as they slowly put up all the decorations and just wishing I was in the fifth grade. I looked up to the kids who were able to participate and longed for the day it would be my turn. It was a day to remember, let me tell you, the line for the bathroom on Medieval Day was intense! Every kid in the school wanted to venture into the fifth grade hallway and see what was going on. Unfortunately, teachers caught onto this plan quickly—really who wouldn’t when your entire class has asked to go to the bathroom 4 times in one day? Like I said, it was a big deal.

Finally, it was my turn the following year. All day, instead of doing math or history, we worked on crafts, played medieval games, and learned about kings, queens, and jesters: much better than a regular day in the fifth grade. It was like a vacation from school, but the teachers thought we were still “learning,” a perfect trade-off, right? But, just like every other day, Medieval Day had to come to end and the next day would just be another school day full of math, language arts, and lunchables. I would never have another Medieval Day.

WRONG! Now all of that excitement and fun is coming into my life again! On Thursday, February 10th, the Late Night Breakfast is THEMED medieval. How perfect is that to bring me back to fifth grade—except this is going to be ten times better! There is going to be a moon bounce to jump on and the games won’t be like the ones from fifth grade, they’ll be better. Anyone can compete with their friends in the inflatable game “Off with Your Head” to see who can hold up the longest! There will be food, games, and even crafts! What’s better? It’s all FREE!

I know all of my roommates have been talking about it for weeks and when I told them about my fifth grade experience they may have laughed, but they completely understand why I’m excited! Who wouldn’t be?

~Jessica Lynn Arienti, Spirit & Traditions


Get To Know…Public Relations Director

As the Public Relations Director for the University Program Board, my days are never boring.  My main duties as the PR director are vast.  I act as the official “voice” of UPB whenever dealing with the press, media, and any other outside organizations or businesses.  This can be in the form of press releases, interviews, or answering any questions they might have in relation to our events.  I’m also a member of the marketing team, working with the Creative Director, VP of Marketing, and the Marketing Chairs to coordinate all advertising efforts of UPB and to increase our brand recognition.   In addition to the marketing chairs, I also oversee the Campus Outreach Chairs.  As a team, we reach out to various on and off campus organizations and businesses that relate to our events, as well as coordinate the Grafton Stovall slide and commercial advertisement sales.

One of the most fun aspects of my job is being in charge of all UPB’s social media.  Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or this blog, I manage it all.  Who else is lucky enough to HAVE to tweet and work on Facebook updating statuses all day!  It’s my job to update JMU students on all of our events, and get them to come!  I also get to offer a behind the scenes look into what UPB does through this blog.  It’s a great way to help bring our organization closer to everyone at JMU.

If you love being social, whether it’s dealing with press and media, or being in charge of social media, this job is perfect for you!

~Mitch Ramey, Public Relation Director

Get To Know…Finance Director

As Finance Director it is my duty to oversee all fiscal operations of UPB.  This may sound very intimidating, but it is definitely a job that any major can do, if one has organizational skills and is good at math.  I’m a history major and I have found this job possible!

A large portion of my job is working with UPB’s budget.  I have the opportunity to allocate the organization’s funds between our five committees and other expenditures.  I also make sure all request for funds forms are turned in on time as well as make sure each committee is using their individual budget appropriately.  Although my job may seem like a lot of number crunching and paperwork, I actually get to work with others quite often.  I have the opportunity to meet weekly with our adviser, the UPB President, as well as the Finance Chairs.  I love serving as a resource within the organization.  This role has allowed me to gain a better picture of the operations at JMU, the mission of UPB, and meet many new people.

~Drew Midgette, Finance Director

Get To Know…Executive Assistant

It has been an honor to serve as the Executive Assistant for the University Program Board during the 2010- 2011 school year.  The Executive Assistant position, not to be confused with a runner for coffee orders or a paper filer, is a position that has helped me to grow as a leader as well as be able to be creative and flexible in my duties.

I am responsible for typical office tasks such as taking minutes at executive meetings, compiling information for a weekly and annual report, ordering office supplies, and keeping the office orderly, etc.  My creative juices start flowing when I have the opportunity to liven up the office with monthly bulletin board changes, posters with UPB related information and creating a scrapbook for the school year. I also have the pleasure in being an advisor to a group of our chairs by having bi-weekly or monthly meetings with them to just chat about how things are going in their position.

Now not anyone can hold this position. Someone with a lot of patience, organization, and confidence is the best fit; characteristics that I did not necessarily have when I started the position but can safely say I have now. Though a lot of my work is behind the scene and I am not directly involved in the event planning process, I still have a voice in what should and should not happen at a event or what worked and did not work. Not being a program director has not prevented me from getting the most out of this experience and when I graduate in May I will surely take the skills and experiences I gained with me into the real world!

~Katelyn Diehl, Executive Assistant

Get To Know…Director of Center Stage

This year, JMU experienced something different. Instead of one concert in the fall there were three. So much more goes into this decision than the average student may realize. That is where my job comes into play. As Center Stage Director I work with our middle agent to find out availabilities and prices of artists while simultaneously surveying the students. The survey is so important because we truly look into JMU’s votes to decide who we can bring. This spring, I worked with the Center Stage committee going back and forth over choices on who to bring for this semester. After deliberation about an artist’s draw on campus, their availability,  their prices, and how that works with our budget, we can finally present a bid to the artist.

With our fingers crossed we wait for them to accept so we can bring to market the event to campus. As the director for Center Stage, I organize the ticket sales dates, order and design the tickets, and plan listening parties and day of show preparations. There are not many places on campus that a JMU student can receive hands on experience producing and promoting a concert.

Throughout the year I get to watch the process of choosing the artist to actually renting the Convo center, setting up the stage and lighting to finally watching the student body filter in excited for the show. This entire process has taught me so much about the music industry and how to promote a large scale concert. After this year JMU will have had 4 large scale concerts on its campus. Whether you went to Cartel, BoB, Sara Bareilles or you are going to Wiz Khalifa you can walk in realizing that this entire show came about through students.

~Angela Marino, Director of Center Stage

Get To Know… Director of Special Events

21 committee members. 14 fellow Exec members. 18,000+ students. As one of the five Program Directors with UPB, it’s our responsibility to make each of these populations come together.

In a typical week, my job is to facilitate a one-hour committee meeting where brainstorming, planning, and decision-making for the upcoming events are the main goals. The rest of the week is spent coordinating office hours for the 21-committee members so that not only does the necessary work get done, but also each member’s personal and professional development is at work. Everything from researching possible events to contacting agent or other schools for details to making marketing banners is accomplished in a week.

In the fall semester, Special Events planned and executed six events. Among which were Kenya Safari Acrobats, Michael Ian Black, and Cupcake Wars. All committees have different focuses but the thing I like the most about my job is that we don’t really have a limited focus. Special Events is by far the most ambiguous committee because we do anything that isn’t covered by the other committees.

If creativity, planning, and working with a larger group of people sparks your interest, then Director of Special Events is the position for you!

~Amy Remmer, Director of Special Events