University News

At BUCC, admins talk 250th, ombuds expansion

The U. may try to promote the celebration through social media and student partnerships

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Planning for the University’s 250th anniversary and recent expansion to the Ombuds Office surfaced as dominant discussion topics at the Brown University Community Council meeting Wednesday.

Eve Ornstedt, executive director for the newly created Office of the 250th Anniversary, spoke on how to integrate the greater community into the celebration, how technology will be used to enhance events and how to brand the anniversary to reach the widest possible audience.

The celebration will start March 7, 2014 and last through May 24, 2015, Ornstedt said.

Ornstedt said she and a committee including President Christina Paxson, Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 have met to establish goals for the anniversary. A priority for the celebration is to collaborate with students, faculty members, alums and community members to tell “the many stories of Brown,” she said.

Ornstedt said the 250th office has worked for the past year on initiatives to brand the celebration, such as launching a website with information and related media. The soft launch for the website will be in January, she added.

“From a technology perspective, this (website) model is something that the University could benefit from going forward,” Ornstedt said.

The 250th office is also considering advertising at T.F. Green Airport, running a social media campaign and collaborating with undergraduate and graduate student organizations to publicize the celebration, Ornstedt said. She added that a grant program has been established to fund student groups looking to run programs or workshops during the 250th, but undergraduate interest has been low.

Todd Harris ’14.5, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, suggested recruiting student club ambassadors to promote the grant program.

Graduate student representatives suggested Ornstedt speak to the Graduate Student Council to boost awareness.

About 300 middle school students from the state will be invited to opening day of the 250th celebration for “a day of academic discovery and education,” Ornstedt said. A graduate student attending the meeting recommended pairing the middle school students with Brown students to better integrate campus members with the local community.

Ruth Rosenberg, the University ombudsperson, spoke about the adjustments she has made since the Ombuds Office began serving staff and graduate students Aug. 1. Previously, the office only served faculty members and postdoctoral students.

“I sit outside the administration,” she said, adding that she acts as a confidential, neutral mediator and adviser. “It’s a safe, quiet space where you can come talk about anything.”

Rosenberg said since the office expanded, she has had more visitors but still experiences difficulties in attracting postdocs. A graduate student suggested Rosenberg introduce herself and her role to postdocs when they are first hired.

Paxson said she invited Rosenberg to speak at the meeting to boost awareness about the office, which she said she hopes will be used more frequently in the future.

  • yaya

    There she sits, bespectacled, and clueless.

    Just one question. If it is such a good idea, why has it not already happened?