Student Government column
An amazing resource that has sprouted out of the efforts of the higher levels of administration on campus is the Provost’s Task Force. The Task Force itself is comprised of about 25 members, all of whom are faculty, staff, students, or alumni, who meet every month to reflect on the student experience at Carnegie Mellon and develop recommendations to enhance and better student life on campus. They come together to ponder immensely tough questions such as: What do students need? How do we engage with students on the work they are doing, or wish to do? With these types of questions lie great ambitions, which is why outside of the central Task Force lie the working groups, which contain the same diversity of members, but meet separately and specialize in one of five special interests that the Provost has identified.
In its relatively short existence, the Task Force has already been able to accomplish some amazing and vital things. It initiated the year with new language in all syllabi on mental health that will serve as a reminder throughout the semester that we all deserve to care for ourselves. Through offering free Group X fitness classes to all students, the Task Force gave us means to relax and be mindful about our health. It distributed CMU Cares brochures, which detail guidelines and possible resources to all faculty and staff on campus if a student were to reach out to them expressing a need for support, and along a similar vein, introduced five new staff members to CaPS to further ensure that someone is always available if students need the support.
Again, we are shown that there are no limits to what is possible when passionate members of our campus community come together with a goal of producing change. What a better way to fulfill a year of compassion than working hard to ensure that opportunities of kindness to yourself are unlimited on campus.
The Task Force isn’t affiliated with Carnegie Mellon Student Government, but our 2016–2017 Student Body President, Vaasavi Unnava, and Vice President, Aaron Gutierrez, are members of its Health and Well Being Services working group, meaning they are an incredible point of contact for recommendations anyone might have on the integration of Carnegie Mellon University professionals and students for the goal of better campus mental health.
Don’t have the time to stop by SBP & SBVP Office Hours (held on Fridays from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at variable locations on campus, usually announced via the Facebook page)? You can always send in your thoughts on how you believe we can help engage our community to the Task Force at CMUExperience@cmu.edu.