A new department created by the AHANA Leadership Council (ALC) will help the organization achieve continuity in its future endeavors, the council’s leadership says.
The department, which will begin as a pilot program next semester, will focus on the policy changes ALC works on over a multi-year basis.
“In the past, any policy work was handled by the president and vice president and, based on the administration, they would take on different initiatives, but that’s a really ineffective way of working on policy,” said Gururaj Shan, president of ALC and A&S ’12.
Over the past eight weeks, Shan and Alicia Martinez, vice president of ALC and A&S ’12, have had weekly meetings with ALC’s directors and assistant directors to focus on exactly how ALC works on policy.
“We’ve been trying to take a look at ALC’s current structure and see how we can improve it and change the organization so it’s capable of achieving its goals over the next five to 10 years,” Shan said.
While discussing different policies that each administration focused on, Shan mentioned both the hate crime protocol and the social experiment, now known as Backgrounds. Each of these issues was focused on specifically by one administration, but lacked support from preceding and succeeding administrations.
“These issues are not going to get resolved in one year,” Shan said. “You need a few years working with administrators to get anything accomplished in these areas. We wanted to figure out a way to take the work that one administration does and continue it so that there’s more continuity.”
The members of the department next semester will consist of four coordinators, one assistant director, and one director, chosen by Shan and Martinez from applications submitted by current sophomores and juniors.
Shan said he and Martinez have been accepting applications for the department over the last two weeks. Membership will be finalized within the next week. The focus of the department’s members during its first semester will be on setting up the organization for future success.
“Next semester will be a pilot semester, so goals will be primarily forming the department, figuring out its goals, training its members, and then getting them started on some small issues,” Shan said. In the future, Shan said that the department will focus on three areas: academic affairs, student life, and organizational advancement. According to Shan, these three areas are where the new committee can truly succeed in their goal of facilitating continuity between different years.
“There are a lot of students that work on policy issues, but at times they don’t have enough backing from the entire student body,” Martinez said. “By having this department we’ll have issues that are relevant to the BC community as a whole to present a united front to administration and different offices, so that they know that the student body does care about these issues and is trying to effect change.”