The Undergraduate Council of Students coordinated a Fall Open House Wednesday evening to present the organization’s committees and ambitions for the upcoming year. Undergraduate attendees learned about how they can impact campus as part of student government.
UCS is a “body of students here for the students,” said President Mina Sarmas ’24. Along with communicating student complaints and issues, UCS works “together to create some kind of solution and change on campus,” she continued.
In recent years, UCS has coordinated projects distributing free tampons and providing free buses from campus to airports during Thanksgiving and spring break, Sarmas said.
Each UCS chair described their goals, experience and current projects within their respective committee. Some E-board members were unable to attend, including Vice President Sarah Frank ’25, Chair of Academic Affairs Daniel Newgarden ’25 and Chair of Student Activities Chris Wai ’25.
The UCS Academic Affairs Committee secures student representation in academic and administrative communities, according to a slideshow presented at the open house. Students work to improve course shopping and registration at Brown.
Talib Reddick ’26, chair of campus life, explained that the committee on campus life handles UCS’s work on dining, residential life, safety and transportation.
The Equity and Inclusion Committee is led by Chair Skye Alex Jackson ’25. She expressed a desire to organize “accessible and diverse student curriculum resources” into “one spot” as well as diversity workshops. With the help of UCS’s polling committee, the committee hopes to launch a DEI poll for student organizations as well. Jackson noted that the committee is “open to anything anyone might be interested in.”
The Health and Wellness Committee is charged with increasing access to mental health, fitness, sexual assault prevention and health services resources. Chair Elijah Harris ’26 said that he wants to make COVID-19 tests, which are only available in Graduate Center, “more accessible to people on north campus.”
Willow Stewart ’26 serves as the communications director. The communications committee runs UCS’s Instagram page and Student Government Association’s bulletin board. “This upcoming year, we’re going to try to maintain the same liaison status communication between the student body and administration,” Stewart said.
Director of Community Engagement Corinne LePage ’26 explained that her committee intends to invest in fostering positive “ties with the community” as it seeks new members. Committee plans include monthly volunteer opportunities for all undergraduates.
The outreach committee, according to Sarmas, helps “the student body be more aware of what we’re doing” and increases student participation in elections.
Polling Co-Director Jay Philbrick ’24.5 explained that the UCS Polling Committee conducts “data analysis” to relay student opinion to administrators. Students can expect DEI, sustainability and dining polls.
The Open House concluded with an opportunity for attendees to be appointed to a University Committee outside of UCS, where a student representative collaborates with Epstein and faculty who lead committees across Brown, such as the Student Conduct Board and the Title IX Council.
In reflecting on her time with UCS, president Sarmas regarded the organization as a “resource” through which she “learned a lot about Brown.”
“There’s a lot of skills that you can get,” she said. “It’s a little unique to other clubs.”