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Teams Prepare for Fall Re-engineering

By Shang-Lin Chuang
News Editor

Student services re-engineering teams have started work on improving and streamlining student services for next year, according to team member Jagruti S. Patel '96. The team members met with representatives from major student groups yesterday to brief them on the teams' current status.

"The redesign of educational support and orientation will hopefully start within a year," said team member Anand Mehta G.

Teams start work on proposals

Support for the educational program will include coordination of freshman-year information with support to academic advising and the provision of education-related information.

Orientation redesign will include all processes prior to matriculation but exclude residence selection.

The financial and academic services transition team has started work to implement the recommendations made by the student services redesign team. The proposed recommendations include automated access to student financial aid and academic records and a timely research associateship and teaching assistant appointment process.

The co-curricular redesign team is following the recommendations made by the student services assessment team and is looking for ways to redesign event registration, planning, and management of student accounts; space allocation and scheduling of student activities; and resource allocation.

The career assistance team, also processing the assessment team's recommendations, will be looking for ways to redesign the distribution of career services information, planning of careers or further education, development of outside organization connection, and improving of feedback mechanisms.

"I like the things that the teams are looking at," said Gregory E. Penn G, Graduate Student Council representative. "It is very important that they keep communication open."

"I am looking forward to seeing things happen," Penn said. "I am glad that the teams are looking to involve students."

"The student services re-engineering teams are making really good recommendations to improve and facilitate student life," said Undergraduate Association President-elect Richard Y. Lee '97.

"Hopefully the UA can work with the re-engineering teams to convince the administration of the importance of student activities for life at MIT," Lee said.

Other groups that were represented include the Interfraternity Council, Campus Activities Complex, Residence and Campus Activities, Dormcon, and other student groups.

FAST team to implement changes

The FAST team is looking to improve the way technology, human resources, communication, student services, and policies handled.

The team wants to see online implementation of billing, RA/TA appointment, contracting, fund transfer, subject enrollment, address change, certification, grade submission, and student employment.

One of the major changes the FAST team will make is the establishment of the Student Services Center, which will contain all of the relevant information a student needs. The exact location of the center has yet to be determined, Patel said.

"FAST has already started work that will continue into the summer of 1997," Patel said. "Hopefully the Student Services Center will be out this coming fall. We are trying to get at least one undergraduate and one graduate student on the team," she said.

"Over the summer, we hope to meet with an advisory group consisting of representatives from the major student groups at least once a week," Patel said. "We'd like to get students involved and get a broader view on the services."

Co-curricular support stressed

"We want to emphasize and ask the Institute to devote resources to these co-curricular, not extra-curricular, activities, which are as important as education," said Co-curricular Team Captain Anthony J. Ives '96.

The four areas the team will be looking at are event registration and planning, student account management, space allocation, and resource allocation to student activities.

"The team will officially kick off June 19 and continue to Residence and Orientation week in the middle of August," Ives said.

"During that time, the team, consisting of half staff and half students, will be working intensely on improving support for co-curricular life," he said.

"In September, the team will present the new design and get feedback from the community to change the design as necessary," Ives said.

The career assistance team will start working in September, Mehta said.

The team will be focusing on an early start on career planning, bettering the methods of information exchange, developing better international and outside connections, and increasing alumni feedback.

"The team is still in the planning stages, nothing is set yet," Mehta said.