We can’t believe a whole year has passed since we were elected as Co-Presidents of the Student Association! Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end. We leave you in good hands though as we have great optimism for our successors, Justin Hu and Keith Melker.
Our time leading and representing the student body has been incredibly rewarding. We have had the opportunity to meet, interact and work with so many amazing people – students, faculty, administration and alumni – all of whom have contributed so much to our positive experience.
During our time as Co-Presidents, we as a student body have accomplished a great deal – a testament to the passion, hard work and dedication that all students involved have displayed.
Here are just some of the highlights:
Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts – event at Underbar; section-led fundraising competition; holiday community service over Thanksgiving; Hurricane Katrina Relief Trek over winter break; and employment/research opportunities
South Asia Earthquake Relief Efforts – event at Saint during international week; school-wide fundraising and potential summer employment opportunities
New Committee Creation – formation of student-faculty committees such as the Process / Grade Disclosure Implementation Committee and the Diversity Committee to increase student participation and involvement in major decision-making processes
Section Officer Welcome & Diversity Management Training – first-time training session for section officers on dealing with diversity and LVI issues
Innovation/Rainy Day Fund – creation of a fund within the SA budget for worthy causes such as Hurricane Katrina, South Asia Earthquake etc.
Partner Liaison Position – creation of a new position within the section to enable partners to integrate more with section-wide activities
Fee Waiver for Partners – members of the Partners Club to waive the fee they previously had to pay for using the OWA common room
Alumni Navigator – worked with External and Alumni Relations to enhance the database to improve the effectiveness of alumni-student interaction
MBA / Exec Ed Interaction – pilot an event this spring between Executive Education students and MBA students such as a joint-case, panel and cocktail evening to increase interaction between the two groups
Section Alumni Rep – modification and revision of the roles and responsibilities of the Alumni Rep to increase the profile of the position
Printers in Aldrich / Hawes – installation of new printers around classrooms
Baker Library Hours – extension of hours, particularly during exam periods
Ticket Price Reduction – through SA budget fund surpluses, reduced the costs of ticket prices at social events such as Newport Ball
Harvard Graduate School Interaction – greater frequency and promotion of cross-graduate school events and activities through the HGC
HBS Shuttle Schedule – added link to myHBS homepage to better promote HBS shuttle schedule with increased operating hours
Enhanced Security and Safety – Have worked with HBS Operations, HUPD and Cambridge Police to improve security and safety on and off campus – late night escort service in Cambridge; Weeks footbridge lighting; exit at Western Avenue
Better Coordination of Housing Lottery Processes – moved date forward for HBS dorm lottery to work in conjunction with HRES lottery system
Housing Priority for Families – Students with children are being given priority in the housing lottery process
Increased Transparency and Prominence of HBS Clubs – grow the number of clubs while instituting rules and guidelines via a new website to ensure transparent financial reporting and prudent leadership
Senate Speaker Series – Guest speakers at Senate meetings such as Jay Light, Rick Ruback, Steve Nelson, Brit Dewey, Tim Butler, Katie Martin, Kelly Diamond, Ron Peracchio and Barbara Siegfriedt to talk about pressing student issues
Healthier Financial Position – more sponsorships, more recurring revenue increases and an overall projected increase in the asset position of SA
New Processes for Financial Control – better accrual and accounting system; clearer roles and responsibilities; and new payment processes such as the introduction of Mollyguard for greater operational efficiency
Contribution of SA Ventures – entered its second year of profitability since inception in 1997, which allows the organization to donate all its non-operating profits to fund SA events – co-sponsoring Graduation Ice Cream Social, helping to reduce cost on SA social tickets and subsidizing the HBS Survival Guide
SA Ventures Improvements – reduced prices on business cards by 40% and Yearbook by 20%; reduced overhead costs as a way to pass on savings to customers; expansion of product lines such as an exclusive deal with Tumi Luggage to sell at a 30% discount to the entire HBS community
Many of the initiatives above have been accomplished through the Standing Committees within the Senate – Academic; Housing & New Construction; Clubs; Class Day; Elections; Student Services; Healthcare and the Harvard Graduate Council Committees. The Senators have spent many hours working with the Administration and we cannot thank them enough for their tireless work. Next time you see your Senator, please give him/her a big hug as your way of saying thank you!!! (just hug though please)
We’d also like to acknowledge all the work the SA Committees have done – Social; International; Orientation; Technology; Presidents and Athletic Committees – who have done a fantastic job in putting on the tremendous events and functions that have graced this campus.
Unfortunately, there is one campaign promise that we were not able to deliver on – yes.iPods for all students. But it was not for a lack of trying. While we genuinely believed this was something that was possible given the benefits an iPod would have on the academic experience at HBS as well as the precedent at Duke and a few other schools, we fell short despite our persistence (MBA Technology and Operations within the administration would call “persistence” an understatement!). With the extraordinary help of our classmate Tom Rikert, we gave it our absolute best, which even included a visit from representatives at Apple.
Not only will we be remembered as the SA Presidents who could not get everyone iPods, but we’ll also be associated with not being able to push back on the administration’s decision to implement grade disclosure for the Class of 2008 and beyond.
We realize many students were upset not only by the decision, but also the process by which the decision was made. While we tried to manage it as best as we could from a student perspective and convey to the administration the voice of the student body, unfortunately our say was not able to influence the decision. As mentioned above, we have worked to create a committee with faculty, administration and student representation in the hope of involving students earlier and more often to ensure fair and transparent decision-making processes going forward.
While there are many many people to thank in terms of students, faculty and administration who we definitely want to acknowledge, we would like to make a special mention to BJ Wiley, our CEO of SA Ventures and Gita Swamy, our CFO of the SA, who both have done a fantastic job as fellow team members of the SA Executive Committee. On a personal note, we’d also like to thank Kelly, Ron and Barbara in Student and Academic Services for being there at all times for us as our direct points of contact within the administration.
Finally, and most importantly, we’d like to thank all of you – the students – for your continued support, confidence and faith in us. When we ran for the position a year ago, we claimed that w
e wanted to make this amazing school even better. This stemmed from how much we loved this school and how much we wanted to help our fellow students and friends. We hope you appreciate our best efforts to make the student experience as great as it possibly can be. It has been an absolute honor and pleasure!