FGSA Winter Town Hall Recap

At the winter town hall meeting, there were several ideas that were brought to the attention of FGSA.  Some we were aware of and others we were hearing for the first time.  This is a summary of the ideas that were brought up at the meeting and our plan of action.

Course Evaluations – There is overwhelming support for a system in which students can rate the elective courses offered at FCOB and the professors who teach them.  We were aware of this desire and have been working with our faculty adviser, Dr. Inks, to understand the challenges in putting a student accessible course evaluation system in place. One of the more significant challenges is gaining faculty support.  Additionally, we have spoken with Molly Hood about her previous work regarding this issue. In order to make this proposal more compelling, we have benchmarked some of FCOB’s peer institutions and a majority of these institutions already have an evaluation system in place. We are currently devoting a significant amount of time and effort to this project, but we currently do not expect the system to be in place in the near term (6-9 months).

Action steps:  We are going to meet with Dean Wruck ASAP to discuss this issue and hopefully find a compromise that is agreeable to all parties involved.   In the meantime, we are beginning work on a week-long series of lunch sessions during the middle of Spring quarter that will allow faculty an opportunity to sell their fall elective courses to the students.  We understand that this is not the ideal solution, but feel that for the short run, it’s the best way to get information about elective courses out to the student body.

Break-Out Room Reservation – There are several concerns that the current system for reserving rooms is not practical or efficient.  There are many complaints regarding the three day advance notice and the inability to reserve a room after FCOB hours of operation.

Action Steps: We have already spoken with Alisa McMahon in the GPO about this concern.  One of the issues that led to the current system was abuse of the privilege to reserve rooms, and for this reason the GPO currently “filters” the requests.  We are going to work with Fisher ITS to determine if there is a system that could be created which would prevent room reservation abuse while making it easier to schedule a room on short notice.  We have also inquired about opening up the Fisher Ambassador Interview rooms during exam week, but this cannot happen since they either contain a computer or a phone line.

Course Planning – Several students are concerned about the inability to forecast when upcoming electives will be offered.  The feedback that we have received from the administration is that they are aware of this concern, but they are unable to publish available courses for the next couple quarters because of unforeseen changes that may occur.

Action Steps: We will work with Jen Mercer to find a way to improve the system.  In the meantime, we recommend that you use prior years’ schedules as a baseline for future schedules.  Although they are not always the same, it should provide a good idea of when classes will be offered.

Alumni Relations – Some individuals feel that the current alumni affairs group at FCOB could do a better job of finding alumni willing to talk with students regarding employment and FCOB classes.

Action Steps:  We will speak with the Fisher Office of External Relations regarding ways to improve interaction between students and alumni.  We have also requested the social chairs host quarterly events that include alumni in the Columbus area.

Access to course rosters – Some individuals would like to have access to lists of individuals who have taken classes so they can talk to them about the course or so that they can buy books and course packets from them.

Action Steps: We will speak to Jen Mercer about this request but are concerned that there may be FERPA obstacles.  If nothing else, we believe it is possible to create some sort of system that will allow individuals to opt-in to a program that will share this information with others.

In addition to these ideas, we have several of our own such as getting a copy machine placed in Gerlach for student use.  We also plan to coordinate a FCOB March Madness Bracket Challenge.   We encourage people to follow what we are doing and to send us any suggestions.  Our email is fgsasuggestions@gmail.com.  Please don’t wait for the next town hall meeting to tell us what is on your mind today.

Social Chair Interviews

Tonight the Fisher Graduate Student Association interviewed candidates for the prestigious social chair position.  The response to the position was overwhelming and we are going to have a difficult time making cuts.  Not only is every candidate qualified, but everyone would make a unique addition to the committee… which makes the selection process seem incredibly arbitrary.  We’ll hopefully have our final decision by the end of the week and we will introduce the new social chairs at our Town Hall meeting on February 18th.    Thanks again to everyone who interviewed.