The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

20 years of entertainment: SEB kicks off anniversary with CougFest

“The only thing we wanna do is make everybody happy.”
Attendees at a past CougFest, an annual Student Entertainment Board-hosted event featuring live music.

Behind the scenes of many WSU events lies the Student Entertainment Board, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

This year, CougFest will kick off the celebration of SEB’s anniversary and its service to WSU. The free-to-attend event will be from 3–10 p.m. Sept. 6 at Thompson Flats, with Munchy’z opening and University Recreation-hosted lawn games beginning at 3 p.m., live music starting at 4 p.m. and the beer garden opening at 5 p.m.

“[SEB] plans a lot of events, so in some ways, [CougFest is] a big kickoff and showcase of the organization and all that they do,” said Brian Shuffield, Student Engagement Services executive director and former SEB adviser. “With it being the 20-year anniversary, we’re doing a SEB alumni reunion. So, we have alumni that are coming back for CougFest and that will be here for other events that week, that have been gone since like 20 years ago.”


A stage set-up for five different bands will be at CougFest, along with yard games such as cornhole and Giant Jenga, Shuffield said.

Some WSU organizations will also table at CougFest, SEB adviser Libby Akin wrote in an email.

“There’s gonna be Munchy’z, hot dogs, they’re gonna be sponsored by [Associated Students of WSU] so there will be food,” said Ben Nichols, SEB graduate assistant and former executive director. “The goal is to create a good atmosphere, a festival feeling.”

CougFest is not only for SEB’s anniversary; it is a long-standing event that has occurred for over 20 years, Shuffield said. The event is intended to be an outdoor music festival but has varied slightly throughout the years.

SEB is using CougFest to kick off the board’s anniversary, but CougFest occurs annually anyway, Shuffield said. CougFest is commonly on the first Wednesday of classes, but SEB pushed the event to Sept. 6 to incorporate an anniversary celebration.

CougFest is also not just for incoming students, Shuffield said.

“SEB puts on a lot of events during Week of Welcome that I think people kind of just associate with the school,” SEB director Hannah Shields said. “Working to separate SEB and WSU a little bit to the point that people are like, ‘What is SEB doing?’ and not, ‘What is the school doing?’ is a nice way to get the year started and tackle those freshmen that are starting to see [SEB] and realize we do actually have more events that are gonna be even bigger than this throughout the year.”


Funded through services and activities fees, SEB started in 2003 as an ASWSU committee, Nichols said. SEB received more funding and programmers over the years to evolve into its current state.

SEB houses committees, each led by a separate event programmer. Committee members are volunteers, Shuffield said. Each programmer is a student and goes through a hiring process, and programmers focus on different types of events.

Examples of SEB committees include the Compton Union Building Gallery committee, arts committee, concerts committee and films committee. The events SEB hosts are planned by the event programmers leading the committees, Shuffield said.

Key events include SpringFest, which is similar to CougFest but much larger in scale, Up All Night, which typically occurs monthly and Homecoming week, Shuffield said. SEB also hosts movies every weekend in the CUB Auditorium.

“I think this last year’s SpringFest was the biggest in a decade,” Nichols said.

SEB is preparing to install a 20-year tribute of SEB events in the CUB gallery, Shuffield said. A reception for that exhibit will be on Sept. 7, and students and alumni are invited to attend.

Following SEB on Instagram and Presence is the best way to keep up with events, Akin wrote.

“The only thing we wanna do is make everybody happy and try and cater to everybody,” Shields said.

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About the Contributor
JULIA MESSEGEE, Evergreen reporter
Julia, who goes by Jules, is a sophomore from the Seattle area pursuing a degree in computer science at WSU Pullman. She started working at the Daily Evergreen in fall 2022. She enjoys writing about various topics and her hobbies, programming and journalism, are what led her to work in journalism while majoring in a STEM field.