A. Ray Olpin Student Union

The University of Utah

A photo of the Union in fall.

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    Who is the Union Programming Council?

    Executive Board – Ridley Heyrend

    The campus life experience belongs to everyone in the University of Utah community. The experiences, relationships, and memories are different for every person, but we all seek community. There are many centers to which students feel a sense of community, but for me, none are as strong as the Student Union. The Union Programming Council (or UPC) serves as the beating heart for the Union, inviting students to participate, learn, and connect to further improve their college experience. UPC is a student-led organization that keeps the interests and thoughts of the student body as a guide to make the campus a more welcoming community.

    UPC is first and foremost a programming organization. The avenue through which we best enhance the lives of everyone in this community is through creative and carefully planned events. UPC is united by seven boards, each with its own share in the development of the Union and University. The leaders of these boards are among the brightest and most dedicated on campus. In addition, each UPC director serves as a peer leader to a team of associate directors on the same board. As an organization, we have grown exponentially in recent years. This year we are proud to announce that we have the largest staff in UPC history consisting of 72 driven student leaders. Our members are incredibly involved in other areas of campus as well, serving as leaders in ASUU, CESA, Housing, the Bennion Center, and various honor societies. In addition, eleven of our members are serving as orientation leaders on campus. Through our relationships with these other organizations, we have been able to boost collaboration on campus. We have partnered, or plan to partner, with every major student organization and keep our door open to any student group that wishes to program an event at the Union.

    This year has been wrought with many global, national, and local tragedies that have shocked this campus in ways we have never seen before. Many difficult conversations and challenges have been brought to light. UPC finds itself at the forefront of this task – sparking conversation, providing education, and resisting silence when it comes to social injustice. In line with our mission to provide a safe environment for all student demographics, we are striving to provide special events such as wellness seminars, emergency training, civil liberty education, and cultural appreciation vs. cultural appropriation discussions. UPC is working harder than ever to offer diverse experiences that can appeal to different students at different times. The campus experience belongs to everyone, and UPC aims to enrich that experience.

    Development Board – Sydney Park

    The Development Board works to fundraise money for the Union Scholarship Fund! We do this by creating the Your Campus Life Guidebook, a resource guide for students, and a variety of events. This year, we raised a record amount through advertisement sales in the Your Campus Life Guidebook. We are also doing a Yoga Night with Salt Lake Power Yoga, a Justice League movie prescreening, and potentially partnering with Open Lands to do a breakfast for students during finals week.

    For spring we are planning a number of restaurant fundraisers and are currently looking into hosting a movie screening in the Union for the Oscars!

    Community Service Board  – Jesse Craig

    The Community Service Board’s purpose is to create opportunities for students to engage in community service, serve the student body, and develop a love for other people through community service. At the beginning of the semester, the Community Service Board coordinated and hosted Welcome Week. Recently, over 600 people attended the annual Family Frightfest in the Union ballroom. In November, the board is teaming up with the Student Alumni Board to help facilitate the annual food drive. In the spring, they will team up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, the Bennion Center, and more organizations in order to provide relevant, fun opportunities for community involvement.

    Crimson Nights Board –Dustyn Burt

    Crimson Nights are four parties throughout the academic school year, two per semester, and each one has a different theme. The goal of Crimson Nights is to bring the campus community together for fun, food, and activities during one night centered around our central theme. So far, we have completed two of our four Crimson Nights. Our first theme, Crimson Blitz, a sports themed party, saw 5,297 attendees. Our second and most recent, A Nightmare on U Street, saw over 2,000 students. In the spring, we hope to break records for attendance for our decades and country themed Crimson Nights.

    Arts and Special Events Board  – Bryan Luu

    The Arts and Special Events Board of UPC are devoted to creating meaningful events that are innovative and engaging for the student body.

    Our events focus on the unbound creativity that UPC has to show. Some of our previous events include the Harvest Festival and Oktoberfest. Currently, we are planning our spring semester programs, with one of them being a large scale cultural night celebration on January 19th. If you or your organization would be interested in partnering with us, we would be glad to collaborate with you! For questions, please email Bryan Luu at bluu@union.utah.edu.

    Marketing Board – Omar Tsai

    UPC’s Marketing Board is in charge of making sure our fellow students and staff know about the events UPC is producing. From making Facebook event pages to the posters you see while you head to class, we’re busy making sure UPC and its events are being advertised to the campus and beyond.

    UPC’s Marketing Board does not usually produce events like the other boards do, but last year Marketing created Social Media Week marking the board’s first event ever! We plan on continuing the event this upcoming semester, so be on the lookout for Social Media week along with the possible return of the camels!

    Freshman Ambassador Board – Max Alfonso

    The Freshman Ambassador Board (FAB) is a program designed to help develop first-year students into campus leaders. The FAB worked hard to recruit students to apply and received 150 applications. From there we selected 44 distinguished students to represent FAB. Since then, we have been hard at work to plan different events for students at the University of Utah. For the rest of the academic year, we plan to give the freshmen leadership roles, responsibilities, and autonomy over planning events. We will also help with the professional and personal development of all the first-year students.

    Utah Asia Campus Board – Chelsea Sathers

    The Union Programming Council’s newest board is taking a twist on what is typically expected from UPC. UPC events usually remain within the A. Ray Olpin University Union. However, this year we are taking UPC to the University of Utah’s Asia Campus in Incheon, South Korea. It is UPC’s intention to create on-campus programming for University of Utah Asia Campus students similar to events held on the main campus, here in Salt Lake City. This semester has been spent programming and welcoming Asia Campus students studying in Salt Lake City. Next semester, Spring 2018, will be spent creating the Union Programming Council on the Asia Campus.

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