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DUU discusses publicity plans

Potential speakers on campus and the marketing of Duke University Union functions dominated the discussion at Tuesday's administrative meeting.

Union leaders rejected a proposal to bring Jeremy Piven of HBO's "Entourage" to campus as part of the LiveEnt programming series when it was announced that his visit would cost more than $30,000.

"If we can't bring down his fee, we can't possibly book him," said President Katelyn Donnelly, a senior.

Another proposed speaker, Frank Warren, founder of the Web phenomenon PostSecret, drew a more positive response from the group.

Warren's visit would be part of a larger event hosted by the Center for Race Relations in which CRR would collect and and display anonymous postcards from students containing their secrets, as Warren does on his site. Union leaders were tentatively enthusiastic about funding the event, which would cost around $13,000.

On the issue of Union visibility, Executive Marketing Director Jon Grilli, a junior, said DUU must be concerned with how its events are advertised on campus to make sure students know what programming it sponsors.

Although events sponsored by groups like Freewater Films and the Duke Coffeehouse consistently draw crowds and attention on campus, many students are not aware that they are DUU events.

Use of DUU logo stickers and posters would draw more attention to the Union's role in funding and promoting these programs, Grilli said.

"The fact of the matter is that the Union pays for everyone's events here," he said. "It would be good to consistently have our name on marketing supplies."

Another venue in which the Union's role is continually understated is the weekly concert series Jazz at the Mary Lou, said J@ML Co-director Supriya Sundaram, a sophomore. The announcement provoked discussion of ways the Union can increase awareness of its presence at the event.

"There needs to be joint recognition on the part of the Mary Lou that this is a DUU event," Donnelly said.

Executive Vice President Lauren Maisel, a junior, suggested that DUU hand out wine glasses with the Union logo, which patrons could then bring to future weeks' performances for a discount on wine.

Sundaram also pledged that J@ML coordinators would continue to work with service organizations on campus to cohost shows and announced tentative plans to move them to a new location for the Spring.

Varun Lella, a senior and editor of recess, announced plans by Few Quadrangle Council, Round Table and Small Town Records-Duke's student-run record label-to host "Few Unplugged," a series of performances featuring Small Town bands.

"It would be a really intimate event," he said. "It would be just off the main quad so people wouldn't have to go too far."


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