The Undergraduate Government of Boston College has been working on improving the Student Guide for this past year. UGBC president Thomas Napoli, MCAS ’16, and executive vice president Olivia Hussey, MCAS ’17, were unable to pass their proposal to change the Student Guide, and many of the changes they hoped for have not materialized. Despite this, they have worked with members of UGBC to develop an initiative called the Incubator phase, which would allow not-yet-official student groups to approach UGBC with their ideas. This would help give students seeking student-group legitimacy an easier path, while also providing resources such as space and flyers. The group would have to go through a two-month trial process in which it would demonstrate why the group should be granted official status. If UGBC were to approve a group, it would then advocate on the group’s behalf and attempt to seek the administration’s approval and official seal.
This program would benefit the student body by making the formation of a group easier for interested students. The process now can seem difficult and intimidating, but by going through UGBC, students would have an easier approach. It encourages a diversity of student groups and creates a better atmosphere for said groups. This would be a good use of UGBC’s influence and ability, using resources to improve the situations of these students.
Another benefit of this program is the two-month trial period. Student groups would have to demonstrate their worth. Instead of just a PowerPoint or a simple presentation, they would actually be showing what they could accomplish, and their approval would be based on a more concrete understanding of the group. By making the process more difficult than a simple one-time event, the Incubator phase forces interested student groups to demonstrate real dedication to their cause. This weeds out those groups that wouldn’t effectively pursue their goals if approved by the administration.
Accepting this proposal would be a positive move by the administration. There are a number of students who find themselves in the limbo between belonging to an unofficial student group and seeking legitimacy. As it stands, this limbo can encourage apathy, causing students to abandon their hopes of creating a new campus group. The Incubator phase would encourage these students, while also testing the viability and worth of the groups, ensuring the best possible results.
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