John F. Pararas ’08-’09 will serve as chair of the College Events Board (CEB) until December, ascending from his former post as CEB secretary, and Benjamin P. Schwartz ’10 will serve as vice-chair.
“One of the main complaints about Harvard’s social life and the general happiness of students at Harvard is a lack of community,” Pararas said. He added that the CEB has the resources to fill that void.
The CEB was created two years ago after the Undergraduate Council ceded responsibility for campus-wide event planning to an independent body. The CEB was endowed with a $200,000 annual budget from University Hall to organize five or six major events each year.
But the CEB executed only two campus-wide events this fall—the Camp Harvard ‘Welcome Back’ celebration and the Harvard-Yale pep rally.
The newly elected board is now focusing its energies on this year’s third large-scale event, Yardfest, which will occur in mid-April, Pararas said. The group may also coordinate smaller-scale social gatherings, similar to the Mates of State concert in the pub last spring, he added.
Schwartz emphasized that this year’s leadership intends to involve student groups more in the planning process and increase dialogue with the rest of the undergraduate community.
Pararas said he could not comment on the group’s spending habits in terms of event planning, as the CEB has not had access to University Hall financial records for its events until this year.
Rounding out the CEB elections, Alneada D. Biggers ’10 will serve as secretary, April Y. Qian ’10 will serve as publicity director, and Kevin M. Mee ’10 will serve as recruitment director.
Pararas is a former Crimson magazine writer, and Mee is a member of The Crimson’s business department.
Three students were also elected to head planning for the CEB’s major events—Yardfest will be organized by James A. McFadden ’10, next fall’s ‘Welcome Back’ event by Tracy M. Spetka ’10, and the Harvard-Yale pep rally by Trang T. Pham ’10.
“I’m really excited for this year,” Qian said. “The group is pretty young—most of our members are sophomores—there’s so much potential.”
—Staff writer Aditi Balakrishna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.