‘SPC takes Miami’: new venture for Student Programming Council

Michelle Silva/ Contributing Writer

With movie nights, pit events, lectures and concerts, the Student Programming Council at the University hosts an assortment of events in order to balance variety and novelty with tradition, says Erin Swink, representative of SPC.

“Directors try to think of something new, and there’s stuff that we do on a yearly basis,” Swink said.

The upcoming “Hearts on Fire” skating event is one such event, sparked by SPC directors wanting to bring something new to students. Traditions also make their way onto the SPC calendar based on popularity with students, namely Build-a-Bear, which is done every year because, “it’s something that everybody loves and they keep coming back to,” Swink says.

The task of setting up events, done by SPC directors, includes contacting food vendors, collaborating with external companies and having forms approved.

“We take a lot of things into consideration, like what our general members say, what other students say. We’re like ‘what do you [as students] want?’” Swink said.

As a former general SPC member, Swink experienced the attention to students’ wants herself.

“I had told somebody about an event that I thought would be pretty cool, and they took that into consideration and they made it an event. I didn’t think it was going to happen but it happened,” Swink said.

As a student-led organization, transitioning from general member to a higher position is common in SPC. Former general member and current director of events, Amanda Hernandez, advocates for students to join to open up to new experiences.

“As a general member, you would just basically come and help at the events,” Hernandez said. “You get some perks that regular students don’t really get because when we have our concert in the spring and we have comedians and … we actually get to meet the artists.”

For those who go on to gain a position within SPC’s e-board, there is another dimension of involvement.

“As a director, it’s even more hands-on,” said Hernandez. “In the fall, we had Jodie Sweetin from Full House and so I got to directly work with her and speak to her and meet her.”

E-board members attend conferences that enable them to forge the connections necessary to coordinate these events, according to Hernandez.

Seeking ways to ensure student involvement, SPC also offers positions that involve piquing student interest, as Street Team Coordinator Nirvana Araujo explained.

“I started out as a Street Team member and I kind of moved up from there,” said Araujo. “A Street Team member would learn about the events and then go out to GC or high-populated areas of the school, pass out flyers and inform students, trying to get them to go the events. It’s …  marketing on the ground.”

For members like Araujo, the most gratifying feeling of coordinating events lies in building a community within SPC, as it’s “more than events, it’s the people,” she said.
University culture is not limited to the Modesto Maidique Campus so SPC coordinates events across both campuses to unite the student body.

“I’ve seen them mostly at BBC giving out free stuff like t-shirts, keychains, this,” student Alexis Rodriguez said while pointing at her cell phone’s case.

Beyond spanning across both campuses, SPC does not stay within campus borders, since some events are ventures.

“Our newest thing is ‘SPC Takes Miami,’” said Swink, describing the trips as an opportunity for students to go out around Miami and become more acquainted with the city.

Still in its trial stage, “SPC Takes Miami” is inclusive of students who do not have transportation means and one of their latest trips was to Wynwood.

For more information on SPC events, visit studentaffairs.fiu.edu/ and look for SPC under the options for getting involved.

Image retrieved from Flickr.

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