Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Portland Events Board’s existence is at stake

Sam Hill | The Free Press

Posted on October 04, 2014 in News
By Sam Hill

The Portland Events Board, a student group that organizes programming for commuter students, may no longer exist because the last executive board member, the group’s chair, turned in a letter of resignation last Friday. Rebecca Tanous, the student body vice president, raised concerns at last week’s Student Senate meeting, informing the senate that Heath Garson, the chair of PEB, had chosen to resign. The majority of the senate seem completely unaware of the membership issues facing PEB, which were problems before the resignation of the chair. “I’m seeing a lot of confused faces. I think you should be aware of this right now and this is a bad sign,” said Tanous. “What are you going to do if PEB falls apart, what if no one is going to step up?” Senator Jordana Avital admitted ignorance to the problems in PEB and even how it was run. She said that she had always thought that faculty were in charge of running the event programming and that work-study students helped set up the events. “I know that sounds ignorant, but I have no way of knowing otherwise,” said Avital, claiming that she had not often seen fliers marketing open seats on PEB or for their events. Tanous chalked it up to recent changes in leadership, noting that she hadn’t seen PEB attend any of the tabling events that have been organized for student groups this semester. PEB serves as the commuter counterpart to the Gorham Events Board, which plans weekly programming for students living in the residential halls in Gorham. Because of their different target audiences, they focus on different kinds of events. GEB brings many performers, like hypnotists, comedians, musicians and games to the campus, while PEB has always focused on taking commuter students away to do something, like snowtubing, giving out free tickets to local sporting events and general social events to allow commuters to meet each other. Both are entities under the Student Senate and their budgets and constitutions are maintained by the senate. Ashley Caterina, a senator and former member of GEB, explained what the senate had for viable options for dealing with the state of PEB. We either have to appoint a senator to run the Portland Events Board or we can vote to combine the two entities,” said Caterina. “Or we can think of something else, but Portland Events Board is no longer and we need to do something.” Kyle Frazier, the student body president, suggested that the events board move in the same direction as the university’s Student Life Office. Over the summer, the university merged Gorham Student Life with Portland Student Life to create one unified office to assist with the student experience on campus. “I think that it would make sense to mull over the idea of having us do the same and try to have some continuity between student government and the university,” said Frazier. No decisions about the future of either events boards were made at the senate meeting. Tanous said that she will be meeting with both groups, if the former PEB chair will make himself available, to discuss their concerns. The Free Press was unable to get in touch with Heath Garson for this story.

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