Organization Spotlight: University Programming Council
The University Programming Council (UPC) here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the student organization responsible for bringing some of the biggest events to campus.
Executive Director Rutvik Shah describes the council as “a diverse group of students working together to better the campus life at UMass Amherst”. The council plans and organize many different events featuring guest speakers, the performing arts, concerts, late night programming, and other special events. In addition to planning events, the UPC promotes and markets their events from the ground up. All events and programs are planned for students, by students.
Event planning this year has been different in many aspects. All previous events were in person and used prior year’s plans for their basis. This year UPC was challenged with creating virtual events, since most students are studying remotely. This was a process that took a little longer, as it required lots of research to see what events were out there and which events would relate more with the student body. Some aspects of the event planning did remain the same, such as maintaining a logistical plan for the event, and consistent communication with all vendors before the event started.
This year’s activities expo, which usually hosts hundreds of student organizations on the Haigis Mall on campus, was done virtually through Campus Pulse, and took place August 28th-30th. Each RSO had a zoom link for a specific period on one day where students were able to pop in, ask questions, and learn about the RSO.
The UPC collaborates with various departments on campus for all of their events and works with different departments to reach a larger population of students. For Fall Welcome, UPC worked closely with the Student Activities and Campus Life (SACL). SACL helped guide the UPC through all of the new changes and guidelines, and helped UPC implement their ideas on a larger scale.
Some events held by the UPC include, but are not limited to, UMass Night Outs, Trivia and Bingo nights, and Late Night Movie held through Netflix Party. These events are a great way to meet and chat with people virtually and win a ton of prizes along the way. They are open to all UMass students and are free of charge.
UPC meetings are also held every Tuesday night at 7 pm and everyone is invited to attend and provide feedback and suggestions for future events.
Shah notes “times are tough right now and I think it is important for students to make sure they are keeping up with all the campus events and activities”. Attending these events allows students to connect across the globe and make meaningful connections with other students while learning remotely. Rutvik also suggests students join a registered student organization they are interested in as it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests and to be more involved with the UMass Community.
To learn more about UPC, you can follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.