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College junior Shana Rusonis, recently elected SPEC's new president, plans to use consistent student feedback in the organization's programming for the upcoming year.

On Thursday, the Social Planning and Events Committee elected College junior Shana Rusonis as its new president. Rusonis, who previously served as a SPEC Concerts co-director, sat down with The Daily Pennsylvanian to discuss SPEC’s vision for the upcoming year.

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Do you have any specific goals for SPEC next year?

Shana Rusonis: We have a lot of goals for next year … We’re coming off of a year that was better than the year before which was better than the year before that. The challenge is going to be to keep that energy going and that momentum going … [I’m considering what it means for] SPEC be a part of every Penn student’s social experience. We do the things that for some people are defining moments of their time at Penn [like] Spring Fling, concerts. We [want to see what we] can do to take that to the next level, to make sure that we’re relevant year round and that we are filling times when there isn’t programming on campus and making ourselves better in as many ways as possible.

DP: Are there any new events planned for the upcoming year?

SR: SPEC Jazz and Grooves is looking at doing a [New Student Orientation] event on High Rise Field so that would be a great way to bring new students to a SPEC event that’s open and free and a lot of fun.

DP: What would you like to improve on for next year?

SR: I would love to see us take new initiatives in getting feedback from Penn students. We’ll have the end of year survey that goes around in the coming weeks and that’s our primary input device for getting people’s feedback on … our programming. I would love to see that sustained throughout the school year or to have people give feedback in different ways.

DP: What is the best-kept secret about SPEC that you think students should know about?

SR: Get on the SPEC Special Events listserv! SPEC Special Events is one of our smaller committees but they’ve been doing really great stuff this semester. They did pasta making, sushi rolling, went to a Sixers game … People love to pay attention and listen when we have something to talk about that has to do with Spring Fling, but we’re all about having people come to us year round.

We have a new part of SPEC next year called SPEC Fully Planned, which is a part of our budget that is designed to help co-sponsor events. If you want to have a social event with your group — if that means bringing a speaker to campus or holding a film screening or doing anything that requires our expertise — you can come to us … We are devoting a lot of time and attention next year to make that process as smooth and as easy to follow through with as possible and its gets you money for your group.

DP: What is the best part about working for SPEC?

SR: The best part about working for SPEC is the feeling you get when you’ve pulled something off and that I think is true of everybody in SPEC … We do event planning so there is always a huge buildup to whatever it is that we are trying to put together. Seeing all the pieces of a puzzle come together and to have something go off successfully … that is a wonderful feeling.

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