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Leadership Perspectives

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Hello Tartans,

Pooja and I would like to offer a special thanks to the Office of Orientation and Student Development for hosting the Tartan football game this past Saturday. Look for more department-hosted games in the weeks to come.

Besides football and school spirit, as discussed in our previous column, two of the major issues that Pooja and I would like to address this year are dining and safety/transportation. Over the past several weeks, we’ve begun the process of benchmarking other institutions with regard to these two topics, and although Carnegie Mellon is definitely not the worst that we’ve seen with regard to dining or safety/transportation, there are plenty of areas for improvement.

After talking with Kim Abel, the director of Housing and Dining Services, and Tom Ogden, the chief of police, we noticed that one of the major concerns for both areas is finding out exactly what students want. I think that, quite often, there are so many student concerns that our message ends up becoming blurred and difficult to understand by so many diverse groups on campus.

We mentioned to both Abel and Chief Ogden our hope to form completely student-led and student-focused exploratory committees into dining and safety/transportation this semester. We’re hoping that, through focus groups and discussions, these committees will be able to issue a report to both of them with a prioritized list of action items that we as students hope the administration can move on.
Some of the major issues that we are hoping to address with regard to dining include upper-class and graduate student meal plans, an increased emphasis on nutrition and “green” programs, and hours of operation. For safety/transportation, we’d like to consider a SafeRider program, potential changes to SafeWalk, a Carnegie Mellon-run neighborhood night-time bus route, and increased awareness of current programs.

Pooja and I’d like to form these committees in the coming weeks. If you are interested in helping to address these concerns, please contact us at either jitkowit@andrew or pgodbole@andrew.

On a final note, legislation to form a President’s Cabinet has successfully passed through both Senate and GSA. I’d like to thank both bodies on their thoughtful discussions and conversations regarding the bylaws. If any students are interested in serving on the cabinet, look for more publicity and applications in the days to come.