The Undergraduate Council of Students voted unanimously to establish a fifth subgroup called the Outreach and Advocacy Committee tasked with working on student group resolutions at its last general body meeting of the semester Wednesday night.
The committee was formed from a working group comprising UCS general body and executive board members and led by UCS Vice President Sam Gilman ’15.
Sazzy Gourley ’16, chair of the UCS Admissions and Student Services Committee and UCS vice president-elect, will lead the committee next year. The committee will include at least one representative from each of the other four subgroups: the Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee, the Administrative and Student Services Committee, the Campus Life Committee and the Communications Committee.
Maahika Srinivasan ’15, chair of the UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee and UCS president-elect, presented the resolution and addressed the need to “codify a lot of this fantastic momentum that we had this year in being more engaged with student groups,” she said. “We came to the conclusion that we needed to make a working group a part of the UCS structure to make sure that we’re still engaged with the student body.”
Srinivasan said the group’s formation should not be perceived as a token display of community interaction. “The job of the entire UCS is to be engaged, and we can’t say that it is the job of one committee,” she said. “This structure is making sure that every part of UCS is focusing on just that — engagement.”
At the meeting, Chief Intelligence Officer of Computing and Information Services Ravi Pendse also announced that all undergraduates, faculty members and staff members would receive free access to Rosetta Stone by the fall after the University reached an agreement with the language software company.
“All 31 languages that Rosetta Stone offers, all levels, are going to be available,” he said.
Pendse asked for a group of 10 to 15 UCS general body members to volunteer to test the program prior to its launch. He also described plans to procure Adobe Creative Suite for students sometime next year.
The Council also approved a resolution presented to UCS last week in support of Active Minds, a student group aiming to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health on campus.
The resolution calls for the Council to work with Active Minds to improve resources provided by Counseling and Psychological Services, which changed its name from Psychological Services last week, The Herald reported at the time.
The motion passed after the addition of a measure for an online record and student feedback system.
In his final President’s Report, UCS President Todd Harris ’14.5 said he felt “so impressed and so proud of the UCS we’ve all built this year.” He urged the Council to continue the changes they began this year next semester.
“We need to expand UCS, we need to make it something that can effect a ton of change on campus,” he said. “And we’ve gotten halfway there, but we need to keep going.”