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Co-curricular Redesign Team Prepares for Implementation

By Shang-Lin Chuang
News Editor

The re-engineering co-curricular redesign team has started planning for the implementation of its final recommendations on student group management after receiving approval for the plans last week from the steering committee.

The co-curricular team, which is part of the larger student services re-engineering effort, analyzed how student groups manage their accounts, receive resources, obtain recognition for their groups, and plan and register events, said Anthony J. Ives G, team captain.

Assistant Director of the Campus Activities Complex Ted E. Johnson, a member of the team, said that the team was trying to make the changes take affect as quickly as possible "We are working on establishing temporary measures that would allow groups to register for simple events quicker," he said. "We don't want students to have to wait until the project is completed to use its efficient functions."

The team's "report is thorough," said Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56, who sits on the steering committee. The report "addresses several of the issues that have long been recognized as needing fixing'."

"The Steering Committee is very accepting, pleased, and excited about the report," Ives said. "The implementation stage will hopefully be started by the end of this semester."

Interim steps to help groups

"We will be working in the next few months to start the interim steps" mandated by the team, said Assistant Dean for Student Activities katherine G. O'Dair. "These steps will reduce the time needed to register for an event for 50 percent of the student activities."

"The interim steps are meant to be temporary measures that will serve to benefit student groups while the implementation phase is being planned," Johnson said. "The steps will hopefully save a lot of time and work for the student groups."

"We are also currently investigating the possibility to obtain a blanket license for Institute facilities," O'Dair said. Student groups currently have to obtain one day licenses from the city of Cambridge if they wish to hold events on campus. A blanket license, if obtained, will allow the Institute to obtain a license for a long period of time, and save the student groups the time to obtain one day licenses individually, she said.

Another interim measure "we are looking into implementing is the paying for Campus Police details through student groups' MIT accounts," Ives said. "If this is established, groups can get the same discount without using checks or cash."

The team has already started talking to student government groups such as the Undergraduate Association and the Graduate Student Council to get input on the best way to proceed with these plans, Ives said.

Team recommends new database

One of the ideas being brought forward by the team is a student activity database which will contain the information on the financial operations and event management of activities.

Student groups will also be assigned their own individual MIT bank accounts instead of being a part of the general account for student activities, as is currently the case, Johnson said. Activities may also choose to have accounts with outside banks.

The changes to the system will allow groups to review their financial status 24 hours a day instead of waiting for their statements to arrive once a month, Johnson said. Activities also will be able to place electronic requests to spend money.

The final recommendation calls for the creation of a Central Allocations Board, which would be led by students and consist of administration and staff members as well, Ives said.

The board will provide a list of funds available from academic departments in the central database. Students may still request funds from individual departments under the new system. The new system will also permit students, faculty, and staff to look at and request available space online.

Activities will be able to do event registration, such as reserving equipment needed for the event, at the same time that space is reserved for the event. Groups will also be able to choose if the event will be listed on a master social calendar, Johnson said.