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UMKC’s UPB provides free events and more for students

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Hearing something is free sounds like music to the ears for a lot of people, especially broke college students.

It’s hard to have fun in college when almost everything fun to do costs money.

Fortunately, UMKC students are able to enjoy activities and events for free thanks to the Union Programming Board (UPB).

UPB is a student-run organization on campus that plans unique events for students to make campus life more vibrant and exciting.

“Our purpose is to get students more involved on campus while also providing different events and activities that are free,” said UPB Arts & Perspectives Coordinator Corlia Spears.

Spears’ role in the organization is to plan programs that engage UMKC students in activities related to the arts.

An event UPB had this semester was its annual student talent show.

Freshman Adriana Suarez attended the event, and the many talents students had amazed her.

“I really enjoyed the event,” said Suarez. “But the low attendance rate surprised me. It was really fun and exciting, so I feel like a lot of people missed out.”

Events on campus can be easy to miss due to a conflict in class or work schedules for students. But the events they might not want to miss out on are ones that involve going out into the Kansas City area.

UPB calls these events “Roos in the City,” which connect students to the fun places and attractions Kansas City has to offer.

So far this semester, students got the chance to go visit Worlds of Fun and support the Royals at Kauffman Stadium without having to spend a dime.

Since these events take a toll on the organization’s student funding, the group is cautious about how many “Roos in the City” events they do throughout the semester.

“With our events, it is really trial and error,” said Spears. “We think about the events that we believe students will enjoy and come to whether on campus or not.”

While it can be a challenge for UPB members to think of events that will catch the attention of students, there are many benefits that come with going to them.

Besides knowing they are free, students get the chance to meet and interact with other students they might have not met before.

Freshman Cheeia Vang has been to three of UPB’s events and had many unique experiences with students thanks to the different types of events offered.

“I think a group like this is beneficial to a college and its students,” said Vang. “It helps provide the students with activities to interact with others, and students from out of town will be able to experience the Kansas City area for free.”

For more information on future events, you can check out UPB’s page on RooGroups: https://roogroups.umkc.edu/organization/upb

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