Event programmer Mayra Perez talks to a student attending SEB’s recent Recess event in Erickson Field. Photo by Johanna Alonso.
Are you planning to attend the 21 Savage concert in the RAC on Sunday, April 22? What about the Quadmania Festival the day before? Have you ever been to a weekly movie night, an open mic night or a breakfast and bingo? If you have, then you are probably familiar with the Student Events Board, or SEB, the organization that holds these events and dozens more each semester.
But what exactly does SEB do? How do they function? Cursory glances at their myUMBC and Facebook pages show that they host events at a rate of almost one or two per day. According to SEB’s president, senior sociology and Africana studies major Andrea Davis, the organization produces over 100 events per semester, a seemingly Sisyphean task. They are also responsible for most of the biggest events on campus, including Quadmania, welcome week festivities, Homecoming and more.
So how do they manage? Part of their success lies in the unique space that they occupy within the campus ecosystem. “SEB is fundamentally different than any other student organization because we’re in a hybrid space,” Davis explains. “We’re a student organization, but we’re also a charter organization.” This means that, although some of their funding comes from SGA, like any other club, another portion comes from Campus Life, with which they work closely. This also means that their event programmers are treated like employees and receive a bi-weekly stipend of approximately $200.
It may seem like a large paycheck, but working for SEB can be time-consuming. Event programmers are expected to fulfill a quota of around 11 events per semester, meaning they are often working on several at a time. Davis says employees of SEB often spend around five hours working in the office per week, while event programmer Mayra Perez, a sophomore pre-nursing student, estimates she’s usually there for ten hours or more.
There are other positions one can hold within SEB besides event programmer — marketer and graphic designer for example — but the responsibilities of the various positions overlap somewhat, and there is no hierarchy of pay: everyone receives that same $200 stipend. All employees of SEB are also expected to work other programmer’s events wherever possible and to contribute to larger events like Quadmania. “For at least Saturday, we’re starting to work at probably 9 a.m. to maybe 12 a.m. the next morning,” Davis says. On Sunday, SEB works the concert, including post-show clean-up, which often takes until at least 2 a.m.
NOTE: All numbers in this article provided by SEB.