CAB to place new emphasis on comedic and interactive events

by Robert Lyons, staff reporter

For the Campus Activities Board (CAB), a new year means a new president, a new direction and new areas of emphasis.

After a period of internal restructuring, CAB adviser Rich Ramos is excited for the organization to get back to the basics.

“When we started in the fall, the issue was building on a legitimate structure; building it so there’s a plan in place on how we work as an organization,” Ramos said. “Now I think where we are is taking that organization and doing the programs we were intending to do and marketing them in an effective manner, putting people in the right leadership positions and doing what we need to do to make it work for everybody.”

Elections for CAB executive positions were held in December with new executives taking office in January of this year. Tyler Stokesbary, sophomore, was elected as president to succeed junior Ruth Ann Roberts.

Stokesbary served as the organization’s Signature Chair for 2014. As Signature Chair, Stokesbary planned and handled CAB’s larger-scale events like bingo and the Stand Around. He also used the position to enact some of his own, smaller projects based on a revolutionary concept for CAB.

“I also kind of used the position for my own little projects like the laser tag we have coming up Jan. 30,” Stokesbary said. “Let’s pay like a thousand dollars once so that we can have something that is continuous.”

Investing in more reusable and recurring events is one major area of emphasis for the new president. Stokesbary also hopes to increase the number of non-performance events because he believes students are interested in more hands-on or interactive activities, such as his proposed plan to bring a temporary zip-line to the Pedestrian Plaza.

“There’s a bunch of ideas that I have that can be not a comedian, not an event that you know you must go to and watch, but something that you actually do,” he said. “I think that’s when people have the most fun is when they can actually do it but they don’t necessarily have to take time out of their day to go do it. So like a zip-line, a perfect example; it’s there for four hours so you can do one ride and then you’re done and can go about your day.”

In addition, Stokesbary has plans to put an emphasis on quality over quantity when it comes to the programs CAB will be putting on this year.

“There’s no point in having a lot of ‘okay’ things and nobody shows up for them when there is more value in having a lot of quality events,” Stokesbary said. “You know, let’s do the things that people like rather than doing something that only a couple of people go to and we spend a lot of money on a couple of people.”

With regards to feedback he has received from CAB event attendees, Stokesbary plans to focus on having more comedy and bingo nights combined with a quality versus quantity approach towards musical guests.

However, of concern and interest to both Stokesbary and Ramos was advertising and the use of social media in promoting their events.

“Social media is going to play a substantial role. I mean the realities are that we can’t rely on one thing just to promote,” Ramos said. “Taking advantage of social media, doing more printed publicity for things that we do and taking advantage of some digital media to promote some of the stuff we do.”

Ramos’s hope is that a more aggressive marketing strategy will be able to reach most people on campus and leave them no excuse for not knowing about CAB’s events.

“There really should be no reason for people to say that [they did not know about an event unless they were living under a rock,” Ramos said.

Overall, both Ramos and Stokesbary are keen to get things moving in the right direction for CAB this semester. Stokesbary is optimistic about CAB and has a confident vision for the bearing of the organization during his presidency.

 “Things like the mobile zip-line or a tethered balloon ride or laser tag or have some bigger name artists, comedians, magicians or bigger bingos. We’re the Campus Activities Board not just part of campus. We should be working on the whole of campus and not just a part of it,” Stokesbary said.