Viswanathan Lists Printed CEG, Individual Initiative as PlatformBy Shang-Lin Chuang
If elected Undergraduate Association president and vice president, Ashwin Viswanathan '98 and Orli G. Bahcall '99 want to make the UA more accessible to students and show them what resources are available, from computer to office space, Viswanathan said.
One of the team's biggest priorities is "to bring back the Course Evaluation Guide," Bahcall said. "We are looking to bring it back on paper in the future." This is related to the team's other goal of increasing student funding.
"People don't think positively and care about the UA," Viswanathan said. "We'd like to increase communications with student activities by holding forums on specific issues."
"When the CEG went online, they lost a lot of readers," Viswanathan said. "Students don't read it anymore, and it does not serve as the kind of reference it once was."
Most of the courses students want aren't even in there, Viswanathan said.
"We need to bring in the support of the entire UA council, increase publicity, and be more enthusiastic about the CEG," Bahcall said. "The effort to negotiate for more funding needs to be the responsibility of the UA and not the editors. The editors of the CEG are suppose to edit and write."
"The money is out there and people are willing to give it to us," Viswanathan said. "We just need to get things done right.
"Increasing the funding will put ultimate control in students," he said. "Lobbying the administration won't work."
Instead, the Institute needs to have an activity-based system that most other colleges and universities used, Viswanathan said. This system would put an amount of money, decided by the students, directly into student activities funding.
"Things don't happen by organization, but by individual," Viswanathan said. "UAneeds to provide the framework for individuals to take the initiative.
"We want to increase the number of campus-wide events that bring students out of their living groups," he said. "Students need to learn from and get along with each other in order to create a more solid and unified student body."
"We plan to hold forums in which representatives from different activities can gather to discuss issues," Bahcall said. "The first of which is the issue of student funding. After that, forums will be held as issues come up."
"MIT is a place where the students really associate to student activities which will then know what is really needed," Viswanathan said. "We hope to tap that information through forums."
The Institute "has many layers of segments of student government," he said. "There is not a lot of easy means of communication. The UA needs to put these channels in place and help free the communication."
Quality of life
"Bringing back publications such as CEG and HowToGamit is very important to students," Viswanathan said. "The job of the UA is to represent all student needs to the administration."
"We need to talk to the deans a lot as UA leaders," Bahcall said. "We need to show them that we know what we as undergraduates want."
"The UAneeds to change the perception that MIT administrators don't care about its students," Viswanathan said. "Administrators want student input. And we want to take their input and transfer them into actual changes."