UPC at Nebraska has allowed many students the ability to learn how to plan and execute events designed to educate and entertain the UNL community. They strive to be an inclusive organization, highlighting diverse groups that may not typically get much attention.
Scott Ayers, a senior broadcasting major, has been a part of UPC since he first stepped foot on campus four years ago. “I’m really getting an opportunity to make an impact on this campus,” Ayers said.
UPC or University Program Council puts on about six to ten events a month during the school year. These events range from movie showings to speakers to food cook offs, which are held all over both campuses at UNL.
Last week, Jim Obergefell came to campus and spoke on his story which revolutionized gay marriage. If you don’t know the name Obergefell, just look up the supreme court case Obergefell V. Hodges. This case sought out the legalization of gay marriage in several states and Obergefell, among others, won.
“I’m so thrilled to be here at Nebraska,” Obergefell told the crowd. Obergefell talked of his long-time partner, Jon, who was dying of ALS in 2011, when they both realized they wanted to be married before he passed away. So, they flew to Maryland got married on the tarmac and flew back home to Ohio. But Ohio did not recognize their marriage so after Jon died, Obergefell fought the state and his case ran all the way through the supreme court. Along with 30 other plaintiffs, Obergefell fought for his right to be Jon’s husband and after a long process actually won.
It was a long journey for Obergefell and his fellow plaintiffs, but he talked of the sheer excitement that enveloped him in the days following the decision. He even got to speak to former President Barack Obama on the phone while on the famous steps of the U.S. Supreme Court house in Washington DC. Obergefell finished his talk to the full audience of the auditorium in the Nebraska City Union about the importance of fighting for equality no matter what age, color, ethnicity, or sex you are.
Ayers told me it’s events like these that make him love the UPC organization.
“I love having the opportunity to go to events like this that really open your mind,” Zachary Ostravich, a senior hospitality major and crowd member, said.
Daniel Lebovitz, the current Entertainment Chair for UPC, told me he joined UPC because it sounded like a fun organization that would allow him to hone in on his people skills. “Getting to work hand in hand with artists and agents alike helps me refine my skill and make me a more successful worker,” Lebovitz said.
Lebovitz was thrilled to be given an executive position this year as he liked the challenge of running a committee all his own that essentially put all the entertainment events together such as the Fall Concert which highlighted two upcoming country artists. “I oversee a committee who helps make the events come to life,” Lebovitz said.
The University Program Council has been around since 1938 and through their commitment to bring entertaining yet diverse topics and groups to campus have made a huge impact on not only students but the university as a whole.