With the last bits of summer quickly rushing away, it is time to gear up for the new year! Some of these projects are ongoing, and some are just starting up, but all could benefit from new members’ input.
Student Initiated Democratic Education — (SIDE)
Do you have a special interest that you would like to share with your fellow students? Perhaps there was a particular topic touched upon in a class that sparked your interest, but there wasn’t time to explore very deeply, or you just want to try your hand at teaching. The SIDE Program Coordinator is currently tasked with helping create a new Letters and Science program that would allow students to teach a for-credit seminar. Please let us know if you have an idea for a student-led seminar!
Faculty Course Cost Pledge
If there is any commonly shared student experience, watching the cost of our education quickly add up is certainly one. The cost of textbooks and readers is not as large as tuition, but saving on course materials may be the easiest way to trim costs. Alternative solutions to reduce the cost of course materials, such as buying used books, older editions, renting, or borrowing from the library’s course reserves, are increasingly popular.
Instead of these crimping measures being up to individual students, what if we got our professors in on it? Some professors have already displayed a great commitment to reducing their students’ costs by leveraging the fact that their lecture halls contain hundreds of customers for the publishers. Steps such as structuring the course around an older edition and placing copies of required materials on reserve could go far; the pledge is mainly an effort to encourage the spread of such behaviors across campus.
Class and Lecture Availability Student Survey — (CLASS)
Data can be crucial to advocacy; based on a model from UC Santa Cruz, CLASS would document the effects of budget pressures on the student experience and academic success. Besides faceless numbers, there is a possibility to incorporate media, such as through interviews or footage of lecture halls packed with crashers. Additionally, the scope of the survey project has room to expand, such as documenting campus climate from an insiders’ perspective. CCLASS — Campus Climate and Lecture Availability Student Survey, perhaps?
Teach the Budget
Curious about where your money is going, and how much comes back to benefit you? TTB is in its research stage, where this question is to be answered. The fruit of this project will be an educational presentation and publications, so the knowledge can be spread among the student body. Helping the student body understand how the UC system is currently run will help realize and reclaim agency, allowing students to advocate more effectively for themselves by making it easier to form concrete goals and solutions.