Sandoval and Kim
Wan Yusof Wan Morshidi--The Tech
June Kim '00 (left) and Sandra Sandoval '00
By Dudley Lamming
Sandra Sandoval '00 and June Kim '00, if elected Undergraduate Association President and Vice President, plan to focus largely on building community. In addition, they plan tackle issues such as student advising, problems with the academic calendar, and increasing the quality of social events open to the entire undergraduate population.
The primary goal, though, is to "bring the MIT community together," Sandoval said.
"The MIT community is so fragmented right now; undergrads, grad students and faculty," Sandoval said. "We really want students to have a positive educational experience, not just academic."
Sandoval, currently the UA vice president, said that she believes that the most important goal the UA should have is to "be useful" to the student body. Sandoval has been involved in student government since the Freshman Leadership Program during her freshman year, and has tried to take an active role in getting manpower for UA projects.
For a lot of work, "the manpower just isn't there," something that "we managed to alleviate last year."
Social Chair running for VP
Kim, the current UA social chair and executive vice-chair, has been interested in student government since she was a freshman. Kim describes herself as a "very hard worker," who can do the internal working that's needed to make programs run. Kim also organized the UA Heart-to-Heart program, in which students completed an online compatibility test and were subsequently e-mailed a list of the top ten people at MIT with which they were most compatible. "She makes sure people are doing their jobs," Kim said.
Sandoval and Kim dream big
Both candidates have many large, long-range projects that they hope pursue.
One of these most ambitious is to overhaul MIT's advising system. Currently, faculty and administrators who serve as freshman advisors get no financial support from the Institute. Whether professors are compensated for their commitment, such as with a reduced workload placed on them by their department, is at the discretion of individual departments.
The candidates hope to get advisers funded, so that faculty are compensated for volunteering their time to advise students. "A recent survey indicated that most seniors had poor to mediocre advising experiences. That's about two-thirds of the class," Sandoval said.
Kim has had experience organizing social events as social chair, and plans to do more as UAVP. Kim hopes to arrange a formal homecoming at MIT, hopefully for next fall. "We might have a semiformal or formal dance afterwards. I've spoken to the deans, and they were really for it. We want to make the community more involved," Kim said.
Sandoval is also considering having the UA taking over the Infinite Buffet. The hope it to alleviate some of the problems that plagued it in its first year, she said.
"We might make it a barbeque, and put it outside," she said. "The deans have expressed interest in funding this," she added.
One proposal Sandoval and Kim espouse is using the UAto advocate the lengthening of the reading periods before finals week.
The pair is also interested in bringing a speakers series to MIT. "It might be funded by corporate sponsorship, and it would help expose students to controversial issues. Students would be expected to attend," Sandoval said.
"We're different from the others because we have more sensitivity to the student class, and we've had a lot of experience in student government," they said.