Two new leaders for All Campus Entertainment (ACE) were selected this week. Rob Sica ’03 was selected to be president and CJ Bak ’05 (the business manager of the Record) was selected to be the chief financial officer. Sica and Bak were both chosen by the Wednesday Night Group (comprised of the leaders of SAC, Social Chairs, Frosh Council, Goodrich Committee and the Log Committee; Rich Kelley, campus activities coordinator and Jean Thorndike, director of campus safety). The Wednesday Night Group has been serving as an interim executive board as ACE develops into a fully operational organization. While these two positions were filled as soon as possible in order to begin planning for next year, other members of the 14-member ACE Executive Board will not be elected for approximately one week.
According to Drew Newman ’04, current president of ACE, the organization “is going to totally revolutionize social planning at Williams.”
“ACE will simplify the social planning process, increase the number of events produced, increase student involvement, save money, improve communications, enable long term planning, improve diversity, increase accountability and make social planning fun,” Newman said.
Kelley, one of ACE’s advisors, described some of the problems of the current social planning situation. Typically, he said, a student group needs to go to up to six different sources, including SAC and College Council (CC), in order to plan and fund an event. ACE significantly simplifies this process by consolidating these relatively unconnected groups.
Kelley also pointed out that another goal in creating ACE was to de-politicize programming, so separation from CC was necessary. Because of ACE’s open membership policy, any interested student now only needs to apply to ACE to be part of the organization. “If someone disagrees with the actions of ACE, they need only submit an interest form and start attending meetings to have their voice and their vote heard,” Bak said. According to Bak, this aspect of ACE will increase the number and diversity of social planners on campus and therefore the number and diversity of social events.
Overall, Bak said, “ACE will provide a unified structure for social planning on campus,” and ensures that there will not be the lack of communication that used to exist with fragmented groups.
“Instead of having to go between SAC and Social Chairs and College Council, etc., students can and should come to ACE with any social planning ideas and will receive a straightforward response,” Bak said.
Newman is well known on the Williams campus for enthusiastically and capably planning social events. Bak praised the amount of time which Newman “dedicates to improving the lives of every student while they attend Williams.”
Both Newman and Bak, however, appeared unworried about the possibility of a leadership void as Newman steps down from the presidency. “In a few years, once ACE is fully established, I have no doubt that ACE will be churning out a ton of quality, experienced social planners,” Newman said. “We specifically designed ACE to both encourage leadership development and require that detailed financial and activities records be kept every year. Thus, with this training and information, future leaders of ACE should be able to make ACE more successful and better able to serve the needs of the student body.” Furthermore, as Kelley pointed out, both Sica and Bak have a great deal of experience in leadership roles on campus.
Both Bak and Newman discussed the numerous positive responses they have heard from both students and administration at Williams.
“From President Schapiro to random students I run into in Baxter, everyone really seems very excited about how ACE is going to greatly improve social planning at Williams,” Newman said.