University News

UCS discusses successes, next projects

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, January 26, 2012

In its first meeting of 2012, the Undergraduate Council of Students reviewed the progress of ongoing projects and discussed upcoming initiatives for the semester.

The Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee discussed the development of its Advisee Handbook, which will include advice for first-years that they may not get from their advisors or Meiklejohns. The council plans to have the handbook completed and emailed to incoming students by the end of the semester. The handbook should serve as “a great guide to Brown before getting here,” said Ralanda Nelson ’12, president of the council.

The Admissions and Student Services Committee noted that they successfully implemented Bear Bucks over break. The system is featured on Banner and allows students to add money to their student cards via Value Port III machines, which are scattered around campus. 

The Campus Life Committee confirmed that banners will be featured on the Main Green to celebrate Brown’s 250th anniversary. Installing banners to commemorate the anniversary has been a long-standing goal of the council, said Michael Schneider ’13, campus life chair. 

Communications Chair Sam Gilman ’15 said the new UCS website will be running by the end of next week. He also announced that the council will begin circulating a newsletter to the University community to keep students informed aboutUCS activities. It will also continue its video “Fireside Chats” with University personnel. President Ruth Simmons will be among the series’ guests this semester.

The Student Activities Committee will be hosting New Leadership Orientations, seminars to help student leaders learn skills such as how to host events and receive funding, said Mae Cadao ’13, student activities chair.

 “These things help you do your job better,” Nelson told The Herald, adding that “these are resources specifically for you to plan events, to run them efficiently.”

Near the end of the meeting, Vice President David Rattner ’13 took the floor to announce his main goals for the semester, which include redesigning Departmental Undergraduate Groups and possibly shopping period. 

Nelson discussed handing off some of her major projects, such as increasing the student activities endowment, to other council members. Though she hopes other members will eventually reach the $17 million goal for the endowment, she said she does not believe they will be able to complete the project this school year. Nelson also said she would be submitting a proposal for universal need-blind admissions to the Corporation Committee on Campus Life sometime this semester. Currently, international and transfer students are admitted on a need-aware basis.

UCS has received $500 from the Undergraduate Finance Board to fund a student group, said Afia Kwakwa ’14, the council’s treasurer. Applications for receiving the money will be sent out shortly. Kwakwa also said UCS wants to host a Leadership Summit for Providence high school students. 

At the end of the meeting, Nelson proposed “dorm rounds” to increase student-awareness of council activities. UCS members will go door-to-door in University dorms to gain student feedback and tell people about the organization. She said she thinks the approach is “a bit more personal” than approaching students in University cafeterias, as UCS has done in the past. Some members expressed concern that “dorm rounds” would prevent UCS from reaching juniors and seniors who live off-campus.


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