SGA branch aims to reach campus

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    Programming Council wants to know what a dream day at TCU would be like for students.Would it be walking past the Brown-Lupton Student Center where the latest hit band is playing at Frog Fountain with a buffet of free food to munch on?

    Members of PC say that it’s not out of the question.

    PC is a branch of the Student Government Association that works to produce events for the TCU community, said Vanessa Flores, a junior social work major.

    “It is the duty of Programming Council to engage the students as much as possible so that their experience here will be one that they can never forget,” Flores said.

    PC was formed because the SGA House found there was too much campus legislation and programming to handle, said Tiffany Baack, vice president of PC.

    “Programming Council is funded by the student body, so it is essential for the student body to tell us what they want,” Baack said.

    Many students looking to make an impact on TCU’s community turn to PC to make TCU a fun and united campus, said Kristen Svajda, a junior communications and Spanish major.

    “PC gives students a chance to relax and get out of regular routine by providing varying programs throughout the year,” Svajda said. “These programs can range from free food at Frog Fountain, to Real World members visiting campus, to hit concerts.”

    PC members say the benefits of being part of PC are priceless.

    “Joining PC was a great way for me to get my foot in the door so that I can continue to grow as a person and make a difference in the lives and experiences of other TCU students,” Flores said. “I decided to join not only to enhance my leadership and communication skills, but to also meet new people and form connections with others that can make a lasting impact on my college experience.”

    Baack said she agrees with Flores and is thankful she got involved.

    “I have gained many important business skills, such as bargaining and contract forming, along with meeting people from all over campus and building relationships with them,” Baack said.

    Although being a part of PC is an enjoyable experience, members say it takes a great deal of time and hard work.

    According to its Web site, PC uses roughly $140,000 a year to improve campus life at TCU.

    Flores said that when she is working on an event, she spends at least 20 hours a week preparing. She said the committee’s responsibilities include setting up the location, time, food, decorations, advertisement, logos and sound logistics.

    “A lot of planning, time and communication goes into making an event happen,” Flores said, “but it is all worth it in the end.”

    Flores said every week she attends meetings for her committee, for the PC Executive board, and she has one-on-one meetings with the director of PC and her adviser. She also works in the SGA office and mentors freshmen Frog Aides.

    Some members are able to attend workshops and retreats, an experience they say is beneficial.

    “I am proud to have gone to a conference in Atlanta, Ga., last February,” Flores said. “This was a conference for all college programmers across the country where we networked with other colleges.”

    PC members say they want to use their knowledge to impact and help other organizations on campus.

    “PC also co-programs with several different organizations on campus so that their events can be bigger and better than what their budget allows,” Baack said.

    PC members say that their impact not only touches the TCU campus, but it also reaches out to the Fort Worth community.

    “When we have events outdoors, such as Homecoming and Spring Fling, the Fort Worth community often comes to enjoy,” Baack said.

    PC members said they are looking for a variety of different people to join and make a contribution.

    “PC allows all different types of people to be involved and that is why we create such a wonderful, hardworking team,” Flores said. “It is important for someone involved with PC to have goals and be serious about their work.”

    PC is made up of elected officers and project team members, Baack said. The elected project directors are in charge of programs like homecoming, Howdy Week, Family Weekend and Frog Freeze Fest. Concerts and special events are also part of PC’s responsibilities.

    PC officers say they are looking for more members to join.

    “One of the major goals this year is to expand PC,” Svajda said. “I would like to broaden the number of people in each of the project teams so that our events are more successful and reach a wider variety of students.”

    Baack said members want to find a way to get the whole student body involved.

    “PC has not found the proper way to reach out to every part of the student body as of yet,” Baack said. “Every year that I have been in Programming Council it has tried a different way, but it has not effectively found how to program for the whole student body yet.”

    Svajda said her job is to recruit new members by opening up meetings to all students.

    “I plan the open meetings, which are informational meetings updating all members of PC what is going on in the various areas of the organization,” Svajda said. “These meetings are open to anyone because we feel that the students have a say in what we are doing because all the programs we put on are with the intentions of reaching as many areas of our student body as possible.”

    Baack said PC’s open meetings are on the last Tuesday of each month, where people can get involved in any of the project teams.

    “In December we all have to apply for positions again, so a person can apply at the end of this semester to take a leadership role in Programming Council,” Baack said.

    Lauren Nixon, a sophomore history and advertising/public relations major, said she is proud of the strong bonds the members have made in PC.

    “With the amount of time that we spend with each other, you have to get along, and this is an amazing group,” Nixon said. “I have learned so much from these people.