By Sritej Vontikommu, Union Board President
A lot has transpired within Union Board since our last update on July 10, 2020. As we move forward, Union Board directors are doing their best to serve Indiana University as COVID-19 and the racial pandemic continues. This summer involved a lot of focus on those items, especially the impact of the death of George Floyd and other members of the Black community on our students, including Union Board members. We ended our summer on a sour note; our President and Vice President for Internal Affairs resigned, which led to three veteran members of the Board taking on new roles for the fall semester: I have taken over the role as president, Sadia Habib took my place as the Vice President for Finance, and Lauren Long is now the Vice President for Internal Affairs.
Since March, many of the directors and committees have worked to figure out the best way to do programs in the midst of a pandemic. Most classes are online, many students are not on campus daily, and programs are limited to 150 people outdoors and 50 people indoors, all of which present challenges for programming and marketing, and raise issues of appropriate use of funds.
Directors took this challenge and are programming both virtual and in-person events that align with the University’s COVID guidelines. We have continued the long-standing film series by providing more indoor and outdoor screenings, often showing three films outside each weekend night. Union Board has hosted Zoom events like Speed Dating, Social Justice in America, and a lecture by Jonny Sun. In-person events this semester, in addition to all the film screenings, include the Canvas Premiere Party and a Huckleberry Funk concert.
With one of the most impactful national elections around the corner, Union Board has figured out how we can provide passive and active programming to encourage people to vote, including a Presidential Debate Watch Party co-sponsored with the College Democrats, College Republicans, and IU Student Government, and tabling to get people to register to vote.
As we move forward with the uncertainty of what COVID-19 holds, we are preparing for both an online and in-person environment for the spring semester. We are continuing to provide creative, innovative, and introspective events to meet the needs of the Indiana University community.
Again, 2020 has pushed the Union Board and the entire IU community. The 111th board is pushing to meet our goals and provide quality events for the IU community as the campus moves forward. If you would like more information about our current plans or upcoming events, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.