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UA Q&A

By Harel Williams and Rose Grabowski

UA coordinating committee members

Dear UA,

I applied to the UA Nominations Committee to be on the Council on Family and Work, but what exactly is going to happen to my application? Why do I apply to you guys for a Council like that?

-- Family Guy

The UA Nominations Committee is charged with selecting undergraduates to sit on committees all over the Institute to advocate for student issues, needs, and opinions. Advocacy is one of three main missions of the UA, and the role that these undergraduates play is crucial to fulfilling that.

This fall, the Nominations Committee ran a round of applications/interviews to fill up spots on a few new committees at MIT as well as some empty spots left at the end of last year. After you apply, a small panel of NomComm members interview you and review your application. They then sit down as a committee and go through all the applications and select which students they feel would be most appropriate for advocate for their fellow undergraduates on each committee.

Those students are then nominated to the committee and the committee chair will either appoint them to their group or conduct another round of interviews and select certain ones to appoint.

Only nine committees had open spots this fall, but in the spring NomComm will be doing a much more comprehensive Nominations Round -- they will be interviewing and selecting students to sit on over 25 Presidential, Faculty, Institute, and UA committees. So if you are interested at all in advocating for undergraduates and participating in policy and decision-making on a large scale, consider becoming involved through that process.

Dear UA,

I have a lot of great ideas for improving campus, but I’d rather sit down and talk it out than compile it in an e-mail to some faceless Athena mailing list. Does the UA have “office hours” or anything like that where undergrads can come in and talk about random issues?

-- Idea Factory

We do not have office hours per se, although there are a few great ways for you to come talk to us. One, of course, is just to find a UA officer on campus and pull one of us aside to talk. Another is to come to a UA meeting like Senate or Cabinet on Monday nights and bring up some of your issues.

However, there is a new program that will start very soon where the UA Coordinating Committee will be “dorm storming” during dining hours. We will have dinner at the dorm dining facilities (Simmons, Next, Baker, McCormick, and Pritchett) and invite people to sit and chat about whatever issues come to mind. The hope is that this will increase communication between the UA officers and the undergraduate population, and give undergrads an easier way to let their issues be known.

We’ll also be giving out vouchers for free meals at the dorm dining facilities if you sit and talk with us. The first dorm storm will be this Nov. 24 6-8 p.m. at Simmons Dining.

Got more questions? E-mail uaqa@mit.edu with your quizzicality. Want more information on any of the issues raised this week? Visit http://web.mit.edu/ua/www/uaqa.