Illini Union Board brings big names to Illinois


Constance Sarantos

T-Pain performs at the Spring Jam 2018 on Sunday.

By Megan Bradley, Staff Writer

University students are familiar with many of the guests who have come to campus for lectures or concerts. People such as Hasan Minhaj, Post Malone and T-Pain are a few who stand out, but it’s less known how these prominent figures end up on campus.

The organization behind these events is the Illini Union Board. The IUB is comprised of various committees, each with a special purpose that aims to improve some aspect of student life.

Committees on the IUB include arts, cultural programs, enriching programs, film and weekend entertainment, Illinites, marketing and special events. They cover events such as lecturers, concerts and both Moms and Dads Weekends.

“The Illini Union Board is the only student organization that puts on campus-wide events that are targeted to all students,” said Jaz Monahan, junior in Business and president of IUB. “Aside from programming, the board advises the director of the Illini Union on a variety of topics.”

Campus-wide events hosted by the IUB are mainly budgeted from student fees, which is how the IUB can pay for special guests with no upfront cost to students.

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The enrichment committee works to bring two to three lecturers to campus each semester. Dixie Limbachia, senior in Media and director of enriching, works with her committee to select speakers who will be influential to students with diverse backgrounds and interests.

Limbachia said the committee gives her lists of speakers it wishes to see, and from there, she works with agencies to determine the speakers’ price and availability.

“You have the power to bring the people you want (to campus), you just have to come to our meetings and let me know, so I can do my due diligence to get who you want onto campus,” Limbachia said.

Students can join any of the IUB committees at any time.

Himaja Gorantla, junior in Business, is a member on the marketing committee of the IUB. Gorantla works to promote events through social media and to encourage student participation.

“It’s exciting to have a say in who you want invited to campus to speak or host a seminar and really make students excited about something that you planned,” Gorantla wrote in an email.

Limbachia said one of her favorite lecturers she brought to campus was Hasan Minhaj.

It may take about two to three months to arrange for some of the lecturers to come, working with Minhaj took Limbachia about a year. Although having him come to campus was a long process, Limbachia said she knew he would be an influential speaker.

“It was amazing, knowing all the hard work that my committee and I put in, as well as the rest of the Illini Union Board when we saw that huge line outside the Union. Limbachia said, “It was just crazy.”

Lecturers, who have been and who will come to campus, are all prominent figures in their respective fields and offer students a valuable chance to hear from a professional.

Sometimes, to bring certain speakers to campus, the IUB will partner with another campus organization, as was the case with Phi Delta Epsilon when Omalu came to campus. These partnerships give students the opportunity to hear from someone who has experienced their potential industries firsthand.

Looking to the future, the IUB is bringing Tarana Burke to campus in September to speak about civil rights.

“One of my biggest goals is growing my committee and making sure that individuals who have wanted to join know that they can belong to this group.  Limbachia said, “Definitely just expanding my enrichment committee and the Illini Union Board in general.”

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