January@Brown will bear half-credit in ’09

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Correction appended.

January@Brown courses may be available for half-credit next year, Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron told The Herald. In last night’s meeting of the Undergraduate Council of Students, it was announced the change was definite, but, according to Bergeron, it’s still under consideration.

Bergeron supports this change because this year’s program went well, proving that the program was “sustainable,” Rakim Brooks ’09, Academic and Administrative Affairs Chair for the Undergraduate Council of Students said. “All accounts are that (this year’s program) was an enjoyable experience,” he said. “If the program had failed, then it wouldn’t have been offered for credit.”

Brooks added that Bergeron “was very enthusiastic about” offering January@Brown for credit.

But not all courses will be offered for credit, Brooks said. The new credit program will be administered by the Office of Summer and Continuing Studies.

In other break-related news, this year’s program increased student interest by adding courses that were more “practical” than in previous years, Brooks said, such as a course that allowed students to make up work for CHEM 0330: “Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure.”

At the meeting, Admissions and Student Services Chair Jane Zhang ’10 announced that her committee has again selected Space Station for summer storage of students’ belongings. The company is offering lower rates, which will vary based on the amount stored, Zhang said.

“They did a pretty good job last year,” Zhang told The Herald. “I don’t think there were many complaints from students.”

After the Corporation approved a $18-increase in the stuent activities fee, UCS also debated and passed a motion to increase the per-semester stipend for Category II groups from $90 to $200.

Some members felt that UCS should wait to change the fee until the UCS and Undergraduate Finance Board task forces give their respective recommendations. “We are in the midst of reform, and this is a transitional year,” said Stefan Smith ’09, the UCS representative on UFB and chair of the UFB task force.

“I don’t think we can live in a dormant state, just waiting for stuff that may or may not come,” said Student Activities Chair Drew Madden ’10, speaking in support of the increase.

At-Large Representative Clay Wertheimer ’10 said UCS should increase the stipend to carry through on its promise to the Corporation, when it said that it would use an increase in the student activities fee to increase support for student groups.

In the end, the motion passed without objection.

The council also considered a motion to provide Category I groups, which receive no funding, with a one-time $100 stipend but tabled the proposal without voting.

Brooks also said that he will chair the elections board for the upcoming UCS elections, which will take place from April 15 to 17. Informational sessions for potential candidates will be held from March 17 to 19 and after spring break. Candidates must present petitions with the required number of signatures, 400 for UCS officers and 100 for representatives, on April 4, and a debate will be held on April 8.

Brooks also proposed petitioning the University to include a student representative on the Academic Priorities Committee, which makes recommendations about academic programs at Brown to President Ruth Simmons. “Students are represented on every committee that reports to the APC, but not on the APC itself,” Brooks said, a claim that was disputed by other UCS members.

An article in The Herald (“January@Brown will bear half-credit in ’09,” March 6) reported an announcement made in last Wednesday’s meeting of the Undergraduate Council of Students that January@Brown will include some classes for half credit next year. In fact, that announcement was inaccurate. January@Brown classes for credit have not yet been approved.

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