University News

UCS selects first-year to fill UFB vacancy

The Council passed votes of confidence confirming White and Tomasso in their current posts

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 21, 2013

Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey spoke with members of the Undergraduate Council of Students Wednesday night.

The Undergraduate Finance Board elected a new representative to fill an open position during the Undergraduate Council of Students meeting last night.

Dakotah Rice ’16 — who was selected from six candidates — will represent 10 student groups and aid in UFB’s spring budgeting process.

“I understand that in the spring budgeting process tough decisions will have to be made, and I will not be afraid to make them,” Rice said in his candidacy speech.

Rice said that though he is a first-year, he is qualified for the position due to his experience in finance, citing his membership on the Brown Investment Board and an internship with Atlanta Venture Capital.

“Dakotah seems like he’s qualified, passionate and ready to go,” said Jon Vu ’15, the alumni relations liaison.

Daniel Pipkin ’14, UFB vice chair, expressed concerns about Rice’s lack of experience as a first-year. “Since we’re about to go into spring budgeting … it would be a little difficult to throw someone in who’s not seasoned,” Pipkin said.

But several UCS members argued that Rice’s status as a first-year did not put him at a disadvantage. “There’s no reason why being a freshman or amateur disqualifies you,” said Sam Gilman ’15, UCS treasurer.

“I think it was obvious Dakotah was the person who cared the most,” said Holly Hunt ’13, UCS general body member. “I understand it’s inconvenient to train a freshman. But what’s more inconvenient is student groups working with someone who’s not passionate,” Hunt added.

Rice will begin his duties today at 8 p.m. at UFB’s budgeting hearing.

UCS also held a vote of confidence in which it affirmed President Anthony White ’13 and Vice President Brandon Tomasso ’13 in their positions of power.

Council members declined to comment on how they voted. “It’s a very closed process that doesn’t provide appropriate feedback unless the conversation stays within the (council),” said Gilman, who was among those who declined to comment.

The council heard updates regarding the strategic planning Committee on Reimagining the Brown Campus and Community from Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy and Committee Chair Russell Carey and Professor of Engineering and Committee Co-Chair Iris Bahar.

The committee focused on two key areas, Carey said — “academic space needs” and “connections between the Jewelry District and College Hill.”

Hunt criticized the idea of moving entire undergraduate departments into the Jewelry District, saying it “would segregate departments.”

“I think one of the things that makes Brown cool is that mathematics is literally next to (modern culture and media),” she said.

White said moving the School of Engineering to the Jewelry District could be particularly detrimental. Administrators are currently considering moving the school off College Hill, The Herald reported last month.

“A lot of engineering students came to me with this fear because they don’t see themselves as an engineering student, but rather as a student who chose to study engineering,” White said.

A new pedestrian bridge could attract students to the Jewelry District by making the area more accessible, Bahar said.

The transportation service that will replace SafeRide when its contract expires could also facilitate travel between the Jewelry District and the main campus, Pipkin said.

“I’m wondering if there’s an effort to keep undergrad classes on main campus,” said Gregory Chatzinoff ’15, UCS-UFB liaison.

“You can’t have two classes back to back that are on opposite ends of campus. That brings up an issue of the schedule,” Carey said, adding the committee could possibly rethink the current course schedule organization to accommodate students with classes in the Jewelry District.

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