Thanks for the Memories!

It’s been another wonderful year with the University Program Board. We have done so much, and I am pleased to share our accomplishments with you all! 🙂

We have planned over 65 events, in addition to our 8 movies at Grafton weekly, and have had 59,000 attendees at our events. Wow! Thank you, JMU, for coming out to our events and making them possible with your support.  It is our constant goal, to put on successful and rewarding programs, and it is my sincere wish that if you have any feedback or suggestions for next year that you let us know.

While we have had so many successes, I would like to take the chance to highlight a few remarkable things that we have done this year:

  • The Matinee Movie Series—The film committee started a monthly Sunday event (for only a $1.50!) that adds some creativity into the regular movies at Grafton. We had a blacklight rainforest for a showing of Avatar, tons for balloons for Up, and a beachy theme for 500 Days of Summer…to name a few.
  • The blog—Well, if you’re reading this post, we have done our job. This year, UPB increased our transparency by maintaining a blog about our upcoming events and internal happenings. I know that providing a more open outlet for conversation with the student body can only serve to improve our organization.
  • The P.I.T. Crew—As UPB moved to application based membership, we started a new member program that allows students that have just gotten into our organization to learn the ins and outs of UPB. How to make a banner, how we execute events, etc.  This new wave of members have been outstanding leaders and have jumped in head first.  I am so proud of this program and of all our new members!

Announcing the Spring Concert!

We have grown so much this year, and I feel privileged everyday for having gotten the opportunity to work with so many exceptional leaders.  UPB is a large organization that is full of passion.  All of our programs are designed with the students in mind, and while we have done so much this year, I am thrilled to see what else can be done in the 2010-2011 school year. Have a GREAT summer!

– Annie Blewett

Hip Hot Hat Trick In Review…

The University Program Board strives to put on events that reach out to each student on the JMU campus.  In addition to surveying the student body to determine their interests, UPB depends on student feedback to make sure it is effectively serving the JMU community.  We gauge student feedback on many of our events through surveys given out after the events.  Since the convocation center shows are much larger in scale, this is hard to do.  This is why we’ve created an online survey.  We would like for students who attended Hip Hop Hat Trick to complete the survey so that we can improve how we carry out our shows in the future, as well as look for acts that would most interest JMU students.

The Center Stage in UPB compiles a list of artists that we think the population of JMU will be interested in seeing. The list is the basis of our survey and directs us to what genres the campus wants. From the results the committee takes the highest-ranking artist and researches their availabilities and prices. If both of these aspects are in line we will submit a bid and the process you all know begins. Although this is the first time the public hears about it, all that work happens prior behind the scenes.

As you can see with the process, your vote and opinion matter. Through the votes we decide who comes to play. So speak up and take the survey here!

– Colleen Donoghue

Looking Back: The End is Near but the Hopes are High!

A short rant from an ol’ timer of UPB.

Greetings and Salutations! <(^_^)>

Yet another post from me, Erik Bowen. I just felt like writing a little tidbit about life and UPB and so here goes…

I came to JMU after the stress of all the high school craziness. I did the usual applications “wowers” being involved in community service, being an officer in a club, taking IB and AP classes in desperate hopes of college credit, and giving in to the whims of my parents to take extra math and science classes to give me that “extra edge”. With all the sleep depravation, living on a steady diet of caffeine, and neglecting much of a personal life I got into college woot woot!

Once I got here however, I fell into the rut that I know many others have felt as well…”I got into college. What is the next step?” Freshman year I continued to search for a purpose, I came into JMU as a Math Major (which I quickly changed during summer springboard). In the fall I was a Chemistry Major with a Pre-Med track and working as a biochem research assistant. Fun times. Sitting in the lab blankly starring at the apparatuses in front of me, I discovered that this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I fell into sort of a slump after that and by the end of the spring semester I had burned many bridges, failed most of my classes, and ended up on academic probation. Wamp wamp right? <(>_<)>

It was around this time I entertained the idea of following my passion of food and cooking and going to culinary school. I had transfer forms printed off and ready to go along with my application to Johnson & Wales. I couldn’t quite commit to it though. I took a step back though and thought to myself…maybe I should give JMU another shot, I’ll give it one last semester to prove itself. That fall I returned to JMU with a more positive attitude. With my good friend Sondra, that second week of classes we braved the craziness of Student Org Night. There we found a table about this student organization that worked on bringing entertainment to campus, from that one Late Night Breakfast I attended the past Spring to the movies at Grafton (where I had seen Donnie Darko and Fight Club for the first time the past year). It was called UPB or the University Program Board. Sondra and I looked at each other and thought it sounded like fun and we planned to check it out the following week.

Nervously we sat with our Starbucks Green Tea Fraps in hand and waited for the meeting to start. The Film Director, Gwendolyn Brown came into the room and with a hop in her step and a voice bursting with a slightly psychotic cheerful excitement; I was instantly entranced. We played the “Movie Game” (a.k.a. “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon”) and at the end we signed up to work shifts at Grafton that week. Being new I hoped to meet as many people as possible and volunteered for a shift each night, Wed-Sat. Three years later, and now I am the one walking into the room with a bounce in my step and crazed enthusiasm in my voice. It has been an amazing year being UPB’s Director of Film. Sure, my parents think it looks great as a resume booster, but I see far beyond that: I have truly found my passions in life and have the encouragement to pursue them.

Now, I am finally graduating. It may have taken me 5 years, which isn’t exactly traditional or my original plan but whatever. I am an Art History Major with minors in Studio Art and Asian Studies (basically) and I couldn’t be happier! These years at JMU have been amazing, especially this last one.

With my spirit full of enthusiasm and my heart filled with optimism I embark off into the world. I’m not giving into the nervous energy that I see most days of upcoming graduates freaking out about he job market. I leave with the somewhat naïve hope that I am going to do something that I enjoy with my life and that will make a difference in the world. Whether I study more in the arts and become an art teacher, go to pastry school and become an entrepreneur, or pursue studies in student affairs, I do so with a smile and the knowledge that I know in my spirit that I can BE the Change!

Congratulations class of 2010! Go forth and do what you love!

-Erik <(^_^)>

Who Dun It?

Being wrongfully accused of a crime is probably one of the most helpless and frustrating situations I have ever experienced. Last weekend, I was hanging out with some friends in the village and, upon leaving in the chilly air with a small white cardigan, I received a text message from my friend, Sean. “Hey, did you steal my hoodie?” Now at this point, I was completely perplexed. Thinking I may be the crazy one, I went through pictures from that evening in their suite. There were no images of me with the stolen zip-up. I was also extremely heated it was completely unfathomable to Sean that it may be somewhere in the mess of six boys’ dorm room, strewn with clothing, mirror art, waffle-ball bats, pizza boxes, Snuggies—you name it, it is in this suite. Why would a jacket not be lost here, is what I’m saying.

With this new proof of my innocence, I called him and we continued aggressively bantering about this zip-up that he wanted me to return. I irritably hung up the phone and was completely confused as to why accusing me of theft would be the immediate action that should take place. I was furthermore debating the likelihood of him being slipped a hallucinogen or becoming schizophrenic in the last 48 hours. After about an hour I found a text message from Sean that read, “Apparently someone found my hoodie, because it is folded on my bed. I’m sorry.”

I was very reluctant to accept Sean’s apologetic text because his lack of detective skills led him to insult my character. I said I would forgive him if he got some practice for the next time something went missing. Sean and company will be attending the Murder Mystery Dinner in the Highlands Room in Festival on Thursday, April 29th 2010. Like a life-size game of Clue, they will be interacting with actors to figure out “who done it.” The event will begin at 8pm with a free desert bar. The theme, “Very Desperate Housewives,” will allow Sean to repair his lack of problem-solving skills in a fun and sweet environment with friends. This is a free event, and I strongly encourage everyone to attend because when housewives are very desperate, foul play is sure to take place.

– Natalie

Hip Hop: What’s in a Name?

In anticipation of Hip Hop Hat Trick, I have been listening to a lot of Wale, Jason Derulo, and DJ Earworm’s music. While hip-hip usually isn’t my go-to genre, I have found that I like it their music a lot more than that I thought I would. However, it has also led me to raise a couple of questions about the importance of an artist’s name…

  • Why does Jason Derulo say his name at least once in all of his songs? It is nice when you are listening to the radio because we all know that radio DJs never say the name of the artist or the song, but why does he say it in the album copies of the song? Clearly if I have taken the time to buy your CD or find you on Grooveshark, clearly I know it is you who is singing, you don’t need to keep reminding me. 

  • 2. DJ Earworm is Jason Roseman’s stage name. Wikipedia informs me that he chose the name playing off of ‘a song that is always stuck in your head.’ DJ Earworm performed under his real name for quite some time before he developed his stage name, so my question to him would be how on earth do you get people to start calling you ‘DJ Earworm’? I mean, I know that when people get married, and their last name changes, you have to adjust, but those people are not famous DJs or have the option to go by their real name or stage name. Also, when it is proper to use your stage name versus your real name? Clearly your family calls you by your real name, but what about if you are making a business deal, do you refer to yourself as DJ Earworm or Jason Roseman?
  • 3. As for Wale, all I need to say is… “Yeah, they keep saying whale, but my name is Wale” and “my name is Wale, don’t say Wall-E”

Don’t forget to come and see Hip Hop Hat Trick, featuring Wale, Jason Derulo, and DJ Earworm, on Friday, April 23rd. Doors open 6:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are still available at the Warren Hall Box Office and online at

– Audrey Redford

Breaking Out of the “College Diet”

Vending machine snacks. All you can eat D-Hall and E-Hall. Late night Chanello’s cheesy bread.  And those oh-so-delicious but horrible for you Starbuck’s Frappuccinos.  It’s clear that the typical college student’s diet is far from perfect.  We’ve all heard of (and maybe even experienced) the Freshman 15, but with the end of the semester only weeks away, here are a few tips to start eating better and healthier this summer:



  • Eat at punch-only dining locations (such as Top Dog, Dukes, Festival, etc.) instead of all-you-can-eat dining halls like D-Hall and E-Hall.  You will almost always eat more than normal when the food selection is endless.
  • Eat breakfast.  The best way to kick off your day (and your metabolism) is to eat a good and healthy breakfast in the morning.  Skip the muffins and bagels and grab a piece of fruit or yogurt instead.
  • Replace the artificial energy drinks and high-calorie blended coffee drinks (490 calories for a Grande Java Chip Frappuccino) with plain ice coffee (only 5 calories!).  You will get the same caffeine fix without the guilt.
  • Better yet, drink water!  Nothing is better for you.
  • Consider a raw food diet: a diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, and dried fruit.

For a more in-depth look at the raw food lifestyle, come out to Free Screening of Supercharge Me! TONIGHT at 7pm in Memorial Hall.

– Mitch Ramey

The Worst Toy Hall of Fame

We all had those toys that we absolutely adored when we were growing up. Legos, Barbies, Tonka Trunks, and Hot Wheels had the power to entertain our five-year old selves for hours on end. The shelves of Toys “R”  Us are lined with a virtual cornucopia of toy delights, but what about the toys that end up in the dumpster? Or as materials in UPB’s Trashion Show? We have all had experiences with what I’ll call “Toy Fails.” For instance, the first “Toy Fail” on our list will be the Boomerang. Who in their right state of mind would base a children’s toy off of a device originally created to harm kangaroos and llamas in Australia? This just does not seem like the values we should be instilling in our youth. After all, the majority of the time it does not even come back to you.

The second toy to make it into “The Worst Toy Hall of Fame” is the infamous Ferbie. I think it is pretty safe to say that the Ferbie was the “must have” toy of the 90’s. The Ferbie Craze makes me think of parents getting up at obscene hours of the morning to take on other parents in a battle to grab the toy that will satisfy their little bundle of love for a day, only then to be stored in a closet for the rest of its sadistic life. Not to mention, while you were asleep you would hear little eerie noises coming from the closet. After close inspection, you find out that the noises are not that of an oversized, deranged mouse, but of your once prized Ferbie. Aren’t you glad you had one now after losing copious amounts of sleep?

Reminiscing over the toys that once fueled our happiness allows us to act like the kid we once were, or  still are. At UPB’s Late Night Breakfast this Thursday, JMU students will be able to relive those wonder years once more. So come out and act like a kid again. We double dog, no, make that triple dog dare you!

– Shannon Essad