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UA Council Considers Social, Funding Plans

By Douglas E. Heimburger
Associate News Editor

In its meeting last night, the Undergraduate Association Council discussed its goals for the year and assigned committees to council members.

The council also trimmed a request for UAfunding of Spring Weekend and heard an update on the status of career assistance redesign re-engineering team.

In discussing the UA's role for the term, UA President Richard Y. Lee '97 said that Executive Committee members had been assigned to oversee the tasks for the term to ensure that activities and events occur on schedule. "We have to have someone responsible"to make sure projects will get done, he said.

This term, the social committee is planning to implement a music program on the stairs of the StudentCenter on Friday afternoons, said Floor Leader PaulT. Oppold '99. The group "already has been approached by a few companies" interested in sponsoring the events, he added.

The UA, through its student life committee, will survey students to find out "what they think of MIT,"Oppold said. Additionally, the committee will implement permanent plans for the Logan Airport shuttle, which was offered at the end of last term, he said.

The UAwill also be holding a referendum on the Institute's experiment on plus and minus intermediate grading, Oppold said. The Institute has been using intermediate grades for internal purposes since 1995; the experiment is slated to end in June 1998.

Finally, the UAis considering taking over the Freshman Leadership Program and using it as "a recruitment tool for the UA,"Oppold said. The program, sponsored by the Committee on Campus Race Relations and Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, was offered for the first time this academic year.

Spring Weekend ideas considered

The council next rejected a proposal from the social committee to increase funding to Spring Weekend, a joint project of the UAand Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

APO's Spring Carnival, revived last year after a 20-year absence from campus, requires a $50 entrance fee from groups desiring to have a booth. "That would be hard on small groups,"UACo-social Chair Rita H. Lin '00 said.

Lin proposed that the UAspend$2,000 on Spring Weekend, of which $400 was to be used to fund the entrance fees of organizations recognized by the Association of Student Activities. In return, the organization would be required to offer its event free of charge instead of charging an admission fee, as what has been traditionally done at Spring Carnival events.

An additional $600 would be used to fund International Fair, which is scheduled to be held on the Friday of Spring Weekend.

UATreasurer Russell S. Light '98 opposed the proposal since the UAhad already decided to pay $500 to help small student groups pay for the event. In addition, $600 had already been budgeted toward the International Fair through the International Students Association, he said.

"No one would be making money"on Spring Weekend if some events were free while others required a fee, said Interfraternity Council representative to the UAStephanie M. Zielenski '98. The $50 fee is refunded after the group takes in $50 during the weekend and that the group henceforth takes 75 percent of the money raised, she said.

In the end, the UACouncil decided to spend $1,000 on the weekend to assist with publicity, the same amount as the council has contributed in the past.

"I'm a little disappointed" with the decision, Co-social ChairJune Kim '00. Since the Campus Activities Complex ProgrammingBoard has already contributed $1,000 to the event, the UAshould have contributed more, she said.

Career services re-engineered

Over the past few months, the career assistance redesign team has been reviewing the organizational structure of career advising on campus, Anthony J. Ives G, a member of the team,told the council.

"Right now there isn't someone to tell you what scholarships are available,"Ives said. "No one is doing a good job to coordinate everything."

The team has been working on a new structure for the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising that will bring all the career services together into an integrated structure, Ives said.

The results of the re-engineering could be evident as soon as next fall, when a new program to bring all the information together should be implemented, Ives said.

In an appeal to the board for student assistance, Ives said that a proposal to finish most re-engineering within the next two years is under consideration by the Provost's Office. "What's going to happen in the next two years is more than in a very long time,"he said.

School spirit to be investigated

The UAplans this semester to survey undergraduates about their feelings on school spirit, said Student Life Committee Chair Edward A. Gordon '98.

"We're trying to find out how spirit changes over time,"Gordon said. The project, which is being undertaken as part of Managerial Psychology Laboratory (15.301), will attempt to find out what factors influence people's attitudes toward MIT, he said.

"It's still in a really preliminary stage" and is awaiting approval from the 15.301 instructors,Gordon said.

The survey will attempt to "find a correlation between spirit and time spent at MIT. If people went to 10 football games a year in high school and they go to one now,"there is clearly a change in spirit, he said.

The Alumni Association and others on campus had already expressed interest in the finished product, he said.

"Idon't think there are too many people on campus who think this isn't a big problem,"Zielenski said.

One reason for the lack of spirit could be MIT's insufficient funding of varsity sports, Zielenski said. "It's absolutely ludicrous if [teams] make it to the nationals and MITsays sorry - too much research to do," she said. "I find it ridiculous that MIT can't fund the sports." The men's gymnastics and hockey teams have experienced this problem in recent years, she added.

"MITis very tight on money at every level,"Light said. Athletics funding was controlled by Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56 until the reorganization last fall, when it was shifted under Dean for Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams.