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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Dodgeball, Build-A-Bear, Pause for Paws and More: What is the role of Knox College’s Union Board?

Union Board (UB) has the largest budget of any student organization, this year with a total of $118,000. They often offer expensive prizes at their events to encourage turnout.

Once such example is “You can’t dodge this” – next week’s dodgeball tournament in which snacks are provided and each member of the winning team receives a free television.

$40,000 of that large budget is earmarked for Flunk Day, with another $11,700 for board member stipends. This puts them significantly below Student Senate’s total stipends, but above other organizations like Catch and Honor Board.

UB is the event planning board on campus, they are supported by Campus Life to make sure there’s always something fun on campus for students to attend. If there is an event on campus not sponsored by a specific club, it was likely planned by UB.

The Board is made up of six committees – Community and Games, Excursions, Comedy and Entertainment, Music and Expressions, Public Relations, and Special Events. According to junior Trinity Slavik, the UB operations coordinator, each committee must put on two events a term.

Each committee is given a different amount of money based on what was necessary for past events.

“Build-a-Bear is a popular one, so we want to give a substantial budget to that one,” Slavik said.

The Music and Expressions committee receives the largest budget so they can bring musical acts to campus, followed by Comedy and Entertainment, and Community and Games.

Many of the events put on by UB offer expensive prizes to the winners of competitions – televisions, wireless headphones, a panini press, a coffee maker, etc. The budget per prize for an upcoming Human Experience committee event is $100-200.

“Our biggest problem right now is just turn out, so far that’s our most effective way of getting our community to come out,” Slavik said.

Slavik and their co-head senior Olivia Janunas are working hard to increase turnout at UB events – a sometimes frustrating process.

“We’re actively trying to make the campus fun,” Janunas said, “just come to stuff.”

Slavick aims to get more faculty and staff involved in general events as well – starting with next weekend’s dodgeball tournament.

They are also working on planning more “microevents” – cheap and fun activities that don’t need as big of a turnout. They started that last week with ‘Pals and Palettes’ – the first in this year’s Taylor Lounge Tuesday events. Last year these were put on by Campus Life and the events were planned by RAs, but UB is now taking over.

Past popular UB events have included Build-a-Bear, the Retro Roller Rave, Knox’s Funniest Person, and Pause for Paws. Due to their expansive budget, they often co-host events as well, like the recent Maiden King concert hosted with the music department or Carnival with ABLE.

UB is currently made up of Slavik and Janunas, the six committee chairs, and seven general members. Each committee has one to three people on it besides the chair.

Slavik, the operations coordinator, and Janunas, the special events coordinator were chosen after an interview process with last year’s executive members and Coordinator of Student Engagement Aryn Smith.

Smith is the advisor for UB.

“I try my best not to tell them exactly what to do,” Smith said, “but sometimes there is stuff we have to do because we’re programming for all of campus.”

Mostly she sticks to supervising and leaves the leadership of the committee to Slavik and Janunas.

“My job is just to oversee the logistics of things, make sure committee chairs are doing what they are supposed to be doing, organizing our calendar, and working with Aryn and Olivia to make sure we’re all in agreement,” Slavik said.

Janunas has been on the board since her first year. She was a member of the Music and Expressions committee, then was the Public Relations chair. Now she runs Special Events, which includes Flunk Day and Pause for Paws. Though Flunk Day is sponsored by UB the Flunk Day planners are chosen from an application sent to all of campus. Janunas then will manage this committee.

Slavik and Janunas chose this year’s committee chairs with support from last year’s executive members. Potential chairs submit applications and go through an interview process.

UB has got a lot more planned for the year. Currently the Public Relations Committee is working on getting the TV outside the Gizmo set up to display UB events, as UB no longer has a bulletin board in Seymour Union. The Human Experience Committee is planning a crafting event. Community Engagement is deciding between bringing an escape room or a skating rink to campus in November.

Slavik encourages anyone who has opinions on how events are done on campus to join UB as a general member, and work on one of the committees.

“If you don’t like things, join UB. If you do like things, join UB,” Slavik said.

People interested in joining UB are encouraged to attend a meeting near the beginning of a term but are welcome anytime.

“We’ll find some for you to do no matter what,” said Janunas.

Union Board meets Tuesday at 5:00-6:00 in the Trustees Room in Alumni Hall.

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About the Contributor
Eleanor Lindenmayer
Eleanor Lindenmayer, Editor-In-Chief
Eleanor Lindenmayer '25 (she/her) is a journalism major. She started working for TKS as a staff writer when she was in her first year. She has also worked as the discourse editor and is now the Editor-in-Chief. Eleanor has also been published at Tri States Public Radio, where she was an intern and a freelancer. Eleanor was born and raised in the pacific northwest and will argue that there is no better place on this earth. Awards Illinois College Press Association 2024
  • 1st Place In Depth Reporting
  • 1st Place News
  • 1st Place Feature
Illinois College Press Association 2023
  • 2nd Place Columns
  • Honorable Mention Columns
Knox College 2023 Ida M. Tarbell Memorial Prize For Investigative Reporting    

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