Q&A with Ben VanderHorst

Q. What is the Student Activities Board?

A. The Student Activities Board is the primary program on campus. We’re the group that plans the fun events for students to go to. Our job is to make sure students have something to go to most of the nights they are here. In the fall alone, we have 90 events going on, so we do everything from concerts to movies to big festivals to just discussions about the elections. We just do everything possible to give students something to do. There is always something going on.


Q. How do you decide events on campus?

A. It’s a multiple step process. All of our boards of directors come in, and they bring proposals to us saying ‘these are people we’ve heard of that students have contributed advice on, and we think these people will be good.’ They do all of the research on how much it’s going to cost, how much the venue will cost and what the date will be. Also, they’ve talked to agents and they bring it to our board. Then the board sits down and reviews it, it is a two-week process, and we vote on it to see if we like what they said and if it would work well with the university. We talk to students throughout campus and get their opinion on it.


Q. How do you talk to students, is it a poll or is it hands-on?

A. Currently, its an informal process where we just go out and talk to people that we know and people that come out to events, and see if they are interested in these sorts of things.


Q. What would you say is the major event that you have going on this semester?

A. Probably the biggest event that we have this semester is the Homecoming festivities. But we have considered a lot of large events and we definitely want to bring a large event again. So we are considering a lot of things. We are also bringing back “The Female Orgasm” from two years ago, so that’s going to be a lot of fun.


Q.Why did you decide to bring back the Female Orgasm?

A. We decided to bring it back because it was so popular, and there were so many people that really enjoyed it. And it had a good message. It created some controversy, and it created dialogue. That’s what we want to do; we want to promote dialogue.


Q. When did you decide to become the SAB president?

A. This is my third year being on the board. I started out as the director of performing arts, and then I was the director of traditions. In October of last year, I decided that I wanted to attempt to be the president, and things fell into place. I’m very happy to be where I’m at, and I’ve got a great team working with me. So, the vice president (Callie Hanks) and the promotions director (Kristin Fulcher) are incredible, so without them, and without my whole team of directors, none of us would be were we are.


Q. What does SAB mean to you?

A. The SAB is really like my family. They’ve become some of my best friends and some of my best connections have come through SAB. And I’ve grown the most in this organization learning how to be a better person, how to be a better leader and how to just work with my peers better. What it really means to me is working with others, and ultimately having a good time. In our office, we laugh almost as much as we work.


Q. What should SAB mean to students on campus?

A. SAB should mean for students an opportunity to get involved and get the most out of their college experience. It should mean that they have the opportunity to come to us with ideas and a way for them to come out and meet new people. And get to know their friends and have a good time on campus. They don’t have to go out to the movies; they can stay on campus and spend a $1 at the cheap seat movie, and see the same movie two months later.