Student Association Identifies Top Priorities

Yes, it is true, the Student Association really does do things in addition to providing funds for TGIFs! As the summer gets underway, I wanted to provide a brief update on what the SA has been up to and give a sense for what the SA will be focusing on during the upcoming year.

So what did you ever do with the results from the “Student Issues” poll I took 20 minutes of my time to fill out?!?!
As some of you may recall, this spring we conducted a Student Issues Poll in order to help focus the activities of the SA for 2001-2002.

The response rate from students was overwhelming with 92% of the Class of 2002 completing the poll. Given a finite amount of time and resources, the Student Issues Poll helps insure that the SA is spending its time and energy on projects that address the issues and concerns that are most important to you.
The following list identifies our top 20 initiatives for the coming year. We have broken them out into our First and Second Ten. Some of these items will require new efforts while others are already starting to be addressed by the Administration.

First Ten
o Implement a new add/drop system that better optimizes the ability of students to meet their academic and personal goals.

o Create an easy-to-use online calendar that includes all major academic, club, conference, Trek, and social events.

o Provide more resources for students wishing to find off-campus housing not connected with HPRE (e.g., list of reputable local real estate agents, online listing of available apartments currently occupied by 2nd years who will soon be graduating, etc.).

o Improve access to healthcare appointments (i.e., expand hours at Cumnock and reduce waiting times for dentist and specialist appointments).

o Expand access to one-on-one counseling services and counselors with specialized industry knowledge (e.g., deep understanding of international job markets, high tech, or nonprofits).

o Expand efforts to increase interaction between RC and EC students.

o Develop a simple online tool for scheduling Spangler conference rooms, including arrangements for conference phones.

o Provide more career services resources to support international job searches for all students seeking jobs outside the U.S.

o Develop a new webmail interface with improved functionality.

o Provide an integrated, online course selection website that includes course descriptions, course and professor evaluation data, historical demand and availability, and other pertinent course selection information, all in one place.

Second Ten
o Expand the variety and number of EC courses offered.

o Provide more online information about various housing options, including different costs (e.g., pictures of rooms in dorms or apartments, brief descriptions of various neighborhoods and associated housing price ranges).

o Provide more opportunities to get to know professors.

o Create a more official mentoring/advising program with alumni and/or faculty.

o Distribute a CD-ROM of the Classcards for the Class of 2001 to graduating students to make it possible to look up classmates after graduation in much the same way as the online Classcards are currently used. (NOTE: Each student would be given the option of not having his or her
Classcard included on the CD-ROM.)

o Include a prescription drug benefit in the healthcare plan.

o Help ease the transition for incoming students who are newcomers to Boston by creating an HBS website that would aggregate and display the opinions of HBS students regarding offsite services (dentists, doctors, dry cleaners, notary publics, tax services, spas, etc.).

o Enhance community features in the
Spangler Grille by, for example, adding cable for international sports and/or installing a pool table. Determine which specific changes to make by offering the student body a set of options (e.g., darts, foos-ball) from which to choose by online vote.

o Increase the number of international companies recruiting on the HBS campus.

o Place a greater focus on improving the quality of teaching in the classroom.

So how did you come up with the list? After we compiled the results of the Poll, the Senate and the executive officers of the SA selected 20 of the issues as high priority initiatives for the coming year. The issues were selected based upon a variety of factors including the percentage of students that selected the issue as a “medium” or “top” priority, the percentage of people who said not to pursue the issue, the costs associated with the desired changes, and the feasibility of the initiative (e.g., we will not be focusing our efforts on trying to get a retractable dome built over the school for the winter months as some have suggested).

Additionally, it is worth noting that this agenda is not meant to be comprehensive. Many of the things we are currently working on were not even issues when we conducted the poll, and that will undoubtedly be the case as the year progresses.
We need your input!

As we work on these and other agenda items, we really depend on your input to help us make sure we are addressing what is important to you. Also, if you have any interest in working on a specific issue or are just interested in getting involved, just let us know. Rest assured there is plenty of work to go around!

We are looking forward to a great summer and coming year, and we hope that with your help we can do our part to improve upon an already great experience.