As the 2017-18 academic year comes to a close, Student Council reflects on changes to student life and the Friedman community the year brought. In Town Hall seminar in March, we shared the results of the Student Feedback Survey to foster a conversation between students and the deans to concerns and set goals for the upcoming academic year.
While the Friedman Student Council loves to coordinate volunteer opportunities, First Fridays, and social events to help students unwind, our primary purpose is to represent Friedman students’ opinions while maintaining active dialogue between students, faculty, and administration. This begins with a student-only Town Hall Seminar in the Fall semester, where students freely and openly express their opinions from a confidential platform. The Student Life Representative uses the information gathered in this Seminar to create the Student Feedback Survey, which is circulated early in the Spring semester. The next step of this process takes place during a Friedman Seminar in the Spring, where the Deans, faculty members, administrators, and students all are invited to attend. Student Council disseminates the survey results to those present, and the Deans are able to respond accordingly. Finally, the Council Co-Chairs attend a meeting with the Deans at the end of the academic year to identify action items and set reasonable goals that address the relevant concerns of the student body.
This process has been very successful in the past few years. Recently, the Student Council’s Feedback Process has led to the creation of increased quiet/study spaces at 150 Harrison Ave., brand new computers in the Jaharis Master’s Student Lounge, and a page on the school’s website that aims to make the cross-registration process more accessible for students. Notable is the creation of the Friedman Career Services Working Group, which was founded by last year’s STC co-chair, John VanderHeide, and has maintained ongoing support from Dean Saltzman.
As this academic year wraps up, we look to celebrate the accomplishments and progresses that have been made. Yet it is vital that we remain focused on addressing the concerns that came up during the Spring 2018 Town Hall in March. The primary concerns we are currently addressing range between curriculum, career services, and campus life. Student Council has two Curriculum and Degree Representatives, who will use the survey results to work with program directors. Other members are collaborating with the Tufts’ Office of Sustainability and are very close to bringing a composting pilot program to the Boston campus. The First Year Representatives are working with the food service providers in the hopes of improved offerings in the Jaharis Café. Last year’s successes, and these present initiatives, are a direct result of the entire student body’s involvement and desire to facilitate change. When you see those emails in your inbox, take the 5-10 minutes to read them, and if you harbor strong opinions (good or bad!), please let us know.
Many of you may not realize this, but current and prior year results from the Student Council Feedback Survey are available upon request to any current student or professor. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the data, please let any of us know via email at the addresses provided below. After all, we collect this information to enhance the overall Friedman experience.
To maintain the cohesive community at the Friedman School, we must all—students, faculty, administrators, and alumni—be engaged and organized. If you are reading this as a first-year student who wants to become more involved, we encourage you to run for Student Council during the Fall 2018 elections. If you are graduating, provide your contact information to the Office of Alumni Affairs and stay up-to-date with Friedman happenings once you leave. Ultimately, we envision the annual Student Council Feedback Events to continue for years to come, and to include all members of the Friedman community – we recognize this is the optimal way to maintain ongoing, constructive conversations that produce actionable results, like all those we have achieved thus far!
If you have any ideas, feedback, or questions, please reach out!
Danielle Krobath, Student Council Co-chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellie Griep, Incoming Co-chair 2018-19 Academic Year email@example.com
Silvia Berciano Benitez, Incoming Co-chair 2018-19 Academic Year firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle Krobath is a 2nd year FPAN student who has been co-chair since her second week at Friedman and while she’s sad that her council tenure is coming to an end, she is relieved that strangers will no longer recognize her for her awkward selfie, which is mandatorily on display in the Jaharis Student Lounge. Her favorite food is kale, but that is not unique for a Friedman student.
Ellie Griep is a 1st year FPAN student who can’t believe how fast her time at Friedman has gone by. If you’re named Hermione Granger, or otherwise have access to Time-Turners, please reach out to her using the contact information listed above.
Silvia Berciano is a 2nd year BMN student who loves personalized nutrition (in her case, gelato every day). She spends her time in the lab, developing new business ideas and supporting Friedmanites with the Student Council.