University News

UCS sponsors virtual session with Paxson

Online session with Paxson, sophomore class meeting among upcoming council-sponsored events

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 26, 2015

UCS members discussed ongoing projects with administrators, some of which include an all-class sophomore meeting and meal plan changes.

The Undergraduate Council of Students will facilitate a virtual question-and-answer session Friday with President Christina Paxson P’19 for the first time, UCS leaders said at the UCS general body meeting Wednesday.

The session will take place at 2:30 p.m. through the UCS Facebook page, said UCS Media Director Alana Bhatla ’16. “We really want people to ask her questions” about herself and her initiatives by posting questions as Facebook comments, she said.

Bhatla and UCS Treasurer Malikah Williams ’16 will also attend a Saturday meeting with students from the Rhode Island School of Design to prepare for RISD’s Lawn Party meeting, Bhatla added.

Several committee chairs also presented updates on their ongoing projects at the meeting.

UCS Admissions and Student Services committee members met with the RISD Student Alliance last weekend to discuss shared resources and policies, said Committee Chair Ryan Lessing ’17. The committee is currently providing Computing and Information Services with feedback about its new website and working to grow two other UCS initiatives, What to Fix Brown and the Brown Developer Exchange, Lessing added.

The UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee is planning a rising sophomore class meeting March 31 with Dean of the College Maud Mandel and Associate Dean of the College for First-Year and Sophomore Studies Carol Cohen “about what they should be expecting about advising and declaring concentrations,” said AAA member Sam Karlin ’16.

Members of the UCS Campus Life committee met with Provost Vicki Colvin this week to discuss student dining, said committee member Andrew Kutscher ’18. In their hour-long presentation to Colvin, committee members reviewed common meal plan complaints, including the disproportionate expense of dropping from the highest meal plan option to lower ones and a lack of clarity on the Dining Services website, Kutscher said. They also offered suggestions from students, such as implementing unlimited and “pay as you go” meal plan options and letting students use BearBucks at restaurants on Thayer Street.

Colvin asked UCS Campus Life committee members to rank students’ preferences for eateries. When the committee suggested extending operating hours at the main dining halls beyond 7:30 p.m., Colvin was “shocked” that the Sharpe Refectory closes “that early,” said Walker Mills ’15, chair of the UCS Campus Life Committee and a Herald opinions columnist, adding that Colvin reminded the committee that unionized labor laws complicate hours of operation.

Williams said the UCS Initiatives Fund received 31 applications from students and student groups seeking grants.

The UCS Student Activities committee is raffling off Spring Weekend tickets for personal profile creators for the fifth week of its “6 Weeks of BearSync” contest, Williams said.

The council approved two Category 1 student groups: B-Side, an online writing publication about the music scenes at Brown and in Providence, and Poetry, Improv, Creative Arts — an interdisciplinary workshop group. UCS did not approve PICA’s application for categorization last semester because it seemed to seek a role on campus that overlapped with that of more product-oriented performing arts groups such as Brown Unheard, said UCS President Maahika Srinivasan ’15.

The council approved Srinivasan’s nomination of Heather Sabel ’17 as UCS elections board chair. Sabel  held the position last year and will revise the elections code to incorporate social media use, Srinivasan said.

The council briefly discussed Saturday’s community-wide email from Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president for planning and policy, and Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services, about the modification of sanctions on Phi Kappa Psi.

“The emails don’t foster as much discussion as they should,” said UCS Appointments Chair Minoshka Narayan ’18. “I don’t hear friends discussing it.”


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