UPC Brings Campus Community Together at Events

On Tuesday, Dec. 4 the Union Programming Council (UPC) hosted a laser tag event in the MultiPurpose room of the Student Union Building (SUB). About 60 to 80 students attended the event, a large turnout for the week before finals. The event ran for from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The equipment for the event was rented from New Jersey-based entertainment company Any Excuse For a Party, which is used fairly regularly by UPC for events.

The UPC is a group of students who volunteer to organize programs that bring New Paltz students together.

On average UPC holds 16 to 18 different programs per semester. UPC has organized many different types of events in the past, including a petting zoo and bamboo plants for Welcome Week, roller rinks, Bingo and the laser tag event that took place last week.

“Our goals are to provide extra opportunities for cultural, social and educational benefits and to provide New Paltz students with activities for when they’re outside the classroom,” said UPC Representative Sarah Ziolkowski.

UPC is responsible for planning on-campus events that give New Paltz students something fun to do when they’re not in the classroom. They are different from most other clubs because the majority of their events are organized with outside organizations. More specifically, they collaborate with outside companies and sometimes on-campus clubs to organize special events. 

To find the companies for each event, students from UPC’s programming board are sent to a conference each semester called National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). In the fall, it is held at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center in Buffalo, New York, while in the spring the location varies. Different activities are available for students attending the conference. Several events include educational sessions, where the students hear about the various program ideas from other institutions and showcase different perfomers such as musicians, comedians and magicians. The students then decide which entertainer fits what their school is looking for. 

They also have opportunities to speak with the agents of these entertainers, which is when they receive more information regarding pricing, rates and what the performer would do for their show. A wide variety of entertainment companies are used by UPC depending on what type of event is being held, but the most regularly used companies include Neon Entertainment, Pigbelly Entertainment and Any Excuse For a Party. The company used also varies based on what region the company is from and whether they are able to make it to campus. The farthest company is located in Buffalo, New York. 

“We also do events to make dorm decor, cultural events organized with on-campus clubs and even off-campus trips to Broadway and Yankee Stadium,” Ziolkowski said. “Sometimes the events are themed based on what time of year it is; in the fall, we’ll do pumpkin carvings and show Halloween movies, like ‘Hocus Pocus’.”

Recently, the council has hosted several holiday and winter-themed events, including the Winter Wonderland Extravaganza on Dec. 6, which featured crafts and hot chocolate.

“All students are welcome to join UPC! Our committee meetings are open to all students, and next semester they will be on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in SUB 409,” Ziolkowski said.

If any student is interested in volunteering for UPC and helping to plan on-campus events, they can join the novelty program. This program allows students to plan programs themselves on specific budgets. When a student joins the novelty program, they take action by reaching out to companies and coordinating events on campus.

The final UPC event of the semester, the Midnight Breakfast, will be on Thursday, Dec. 13 in the Student Union MPR at midnight.

To find out more about the novelty program and getting involved with UPC, contact UPC at 845-257-3025. To learn more about the Office of Student Activities and Union Services, visit www.newpaltz.edu/saus/