The Associated Students of Madison’s Coordinating Council proposed the creation of a committee tasked with organizing a Varsity Day speaker at its meeting Tuesday.
ASM Chair Andrew Bulovsky suggested the creation of a committee to oversee the outreach and coordination of Varsity Day amid conversations of including a speaker in the event. ASM Press Office Assistant Director Courtney Jackson stressed Varsity Day should serve as an opportunity for University of Wisconsin students to hear a prestigious speaker brought to campus.
ASM Press Office Director David Gardner said the goal of the committee would be to ultimately decide who should speak as well as to increase student involvement in the decision process to ensure the proposed speaker would represent the student body.
Bulovsky said in his proposal that the committee’s obligations would center on extensive interaction with the student body in order to obtain feedback on ideas for a high-profile speaker.
“This is an event put on by students, for students,” Bulovsky said.
In an email to The Badger Herald, Bulovsky said the process would begin with a campus-wide email requesting ideas for a Varsity Day speaker. From these suggestions, he said the committee would then compile a list of several speakers estimated to be within the range of available funding.
Bulovsky added the decision on the speaker would ultimately be left up to a vote by students.
According to Bulovsky, the committee would select the speaker based on final pricing, speaker availability and logistical concerns. He added that if the top choices were unavailable, the list would be expanded to reflect other speakers voted for by the student body.
This will continue until a speaker is selected, Bulovsky said. He added that regular updates will be presented to ASM, the Wisconsin Union, Senior Class Officers, Distinguished Lecture Series, Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Dean of Students and any other organization or department deemed essential.
The committee will also be responsible for selecting the time, date and location of Varsity Day, in addition to seeking funding from various campus funding sources, Bulovsky said.
Gardner said Varsity Day would enhance the prestige of UW’s campus. If passed, a $60,000 budget would be allocated for the event.
“I don’t foresee any issues at this point,” Bulovsky said.
Gardner said the speaker should fit this year’s theme of the Year of Innovation. He said the final decision will be heavily impacted by student preference and funding required.
Coordinating Council members discussed hypothetical ideas for speakers that included Bill Nye, Bill Gates and others they felt would fit the theme of the Year of Innovation.