So, first of all, welcome back to sunny Pittsburgh! Hopefully mid-semester break was a good time and provided us all with great stories that everyone will be telling and retelling from now until
For us, the past couple of weeks were somewhat of a transition period in between setting projects up and starting to negotiate change.
We did get a chance to meet with Gloriana St. Clair, the dean of the libraries, to catch up on the school’s preparations for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accreditation efforts. In case you didn’t hear what that’s all about, MSCHE defines itself on its website as “a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources.”
As one of the volunteer schools, we go up for review every five years. So far, things are going well, and we should be done drafting all the written pieces for MSCHE soon. Beyond the accreditation, we also spoke to Gloriana about an interest in creating cheaper ways to copy paper documents in the library. We got some insight into the copying and scanning businesses and are pursuing channels that balance financial concerns with ease of use.
In addition to our efforts toward accreditation, last Friday we held our first Elections Reform Committee meeting. Together with the other representatives, we gained a great deal of perspective on what happened in the last election period. The goal is to create a sustainable election system that will not fail the student body. Part of reaching that goal is also looking at backups for cases in which something beyond the control of the Elections Board occurs. It will be a very interesting project, and we hope to have a solidified solution by the beginning of December.
Along with Joel Bergstein, we also took advantage of our first chance to hold student body executive office hours. It was a great experience. We sat outside the University Center for several hours two weeks ago gaining perspective from everyone willing to share. We believe that we’re moving along in a direction that will definitely yield improvements for this campus. However, as we’ve pointed out in every “Presidential Perspectives” we’ve written, that could be a misconception.
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