This spring, UGBC has plans to continue numerous initiatives that were begun in the fall and hopes to receive more student input on future projects.
Michael Kitlas, UGBC President and A&S ’12, spoke recently about the UGBC’s plans for the coming semester.
“We’ve completed our new website over break,” Kitlas said. “We’re working to publicize that, and we’re hoping to utilize some of the new features to get more in touch with students. We’ll have the ability to do more with surveys and get a lot of student input. That’s one thing you’re going to see a lot more of this semester is us being physically out there, getting people’s opinions on different issues and finding out what the students really want to know.”
Kitlas said the new website, combined with the upcoming elections and more effort on the part of UGBC, will help foster conversation between students and create more trust in the organization.
“We really want to reconnect UGBC with the students,” Kitlas said, “because one of the things I’ve heard is that UGBC is out of touch, and in some ways, we are, it happens, but we want to take that step back and get back in touch with the students. We don’t want our administration to be out of touch. People aren’t going to be interested in the election if they aren’t interested in UGBC and don’t think it can do anything this year.”
Kitlas also said that UGBC plans to have more State of the Heights events this semester, in order to give students another outlet to contact the administration.
In the coming weeks, the UGBC will receive notification from the administration on whether or not a spring concert will be held.
“We’re really hoping to have a definitive answer within the next week or two so we have enough time to have [the concert] planned and get students the entertainment they want,” Kitlas said.
By researching concert procedures at other schools and compiling a list of recommendations for future concerts at BC, Kitlas said UGBC hopes to “decrease transports and create a safer environment for the students.”
During his administration, Kitlas said UGBC has assembled a scrapbook detailing the procedures for hosting each event. The scrapbook will allow future administrations to improve upon each event.
“We’ve created a scrapbook that details every event we’ve done this year,” Kitlas said. “It goes into detail about what vendors were contacted, how far in advance they were contacted, how much it cost, whether or not they were able to get special deals, so all of that will be available for the new directors next year. Hopefully with that background knowledge they’ll be able to improve the events more next year.”
Furthermore, by bringing younger students in UGBC into some of the higher-level administrative conversations, Kitlas expressed his hope that important conversations and initiatives will be carried on from year to year, despite changing administrations.
Another important initiative for the coming semester is to continue the work UGBC has done on improving the academic advising process.
“We’ve really been analyzing the data to see what’s worked well with academic advising,” Kitlas said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and it’s always improving, so we’d like to expand it to Arts and Sciences as a pilot program.”
Often, students meet with their advisor only very briefly to get their access code, and fail to ask important questions and receive direction in their studies. By holding both the student and the advisor more accountable for building an advising relationship, UGBC hopes to help make the process more rewarding.
Kitlas said that by allowing students to evaluate their advisors, and by providing them with resources before their advising meetings, the academic advising process can be improved and students can develop more rewarding relationships with their advisors.