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Student Trustee's Corner

Run for Student Trustee! Elections February 25th

Last year, the role of Student Trustee was created, providing a student voice on the Board of Trustees, and enhancing communication between the Board and the student body.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve CC in this capacity, and I hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity by running for the 2013-14 Student Trustee position! An election on February 25th will determine the top three finalists, who will then be interviewed and selected by the Board.

Thank you for your interest, and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!

Winter Conference launches Strategic Planning process into next phase

The 2013 Winter Conference on December 18th marked the transition of the Year of Planning from the goal-setting phase to the initiative phase. About half the board, members from the Strategic Planning teams, as well as faculty, staff, students, and administrators, brought the total number of attendees to 400! For more info and to share your ideas for the future of CC, go to http://www.coloradocollege.edu/strategicplanning/

11 December 2012 Student Endowment Committee meeting

On December 11th, a group of 17 students met to discuss the endowment. Ultimately, the group decided to endorse the 350.org campaign and call for divestment from fossil fuels. The group is also considering longer-term goals and the potential creation of an all-college committee to provide consistency to this discussion. The group is currently reorganizing and creating a leadership structure for the rest of the year. They are also working on drafting an introductory letter to the administration and the Board with the intent of emailing the letter before ~January 10th. The group looks forward to presenting their stance, as well as research on sustainable investment returns, to the Trustee Committee on Investments in May.

Meeting minutes may be found on the “Meeting Minutes – Endowment Committee” page to the left. For more information on how to get involved, please contact me, or better yet, Phoenix McLaughlin at JeanPhoenix.McLaughlin@ColoradoCollege.edu

Student Trustee Dinner

On November 28th, a group of CC students and trustees enjoyed dinner together at La Casa Fiesta in Monument.

From left to right: Rafa Alonso Arenas, Bill Campbell, Flor Chavez, Kristen Wells, Bob Manning, Brian Thompson, Samantha Barlow, Sarah Perez-Sanz, Heather Carroll, Jacob Kirksey, Gianina Horton, Jack Wold, Jermyn Davis

Below are highlights from conversations on:

Online Learning/Technology

  • Students are strongly against the idea of online learning and feel that classroom dialogue and “the personal relationships between Professors and students” is vital to what CC is about
  • One student did bring up the advantage of online classes for students that experience emergencies that result in missing class time, but emphasized that computers should not replace classes and professors in general
  • When Jermyn told students about a consortium of colleges (Duke, Wake, and others) that have recently provided some online options that are somehow interactive between faculty and students and among students, there was still skepticism
  • Regardless, this is an issue of increasingly pressing concern that we are going to have to address within the liberal arts
  • From two students working in admission, they perceive that technological resources and services on campus are not a determinant in the college decision.
  • Some students proposed conducting “online office hours” between students abroad and staff on-campus (and vice versa) to allow open communication and the exchange of ideas beyond geographical boundaries.
  • The possibility of engaging students in online workshops to transition students from the liberal arts into the real world was also discussed. The only impediment is the time constraint under the block plan, and thus these workshops could  be conducted as adjuncts or over block break.
  • On a more general technological note, there is the realization that “keeping up” with technological advances is relatively impossible, but that it still seems that some basic needs are not being met. Smart boards and other adaptable resources could be helpful, and one student spoke of how microscopes in Olin are not up to snuff – students have to light their slides with other lamps.

 

Alumni giving

  • A “culture of giving” is lacking within the student body. Most students do not even think about giving to CC during their time on campus, nor understand its importance.
  • Alums want to see and interact with students (and professors) more, as this reminds them of the direct impact of their giving. Dinners and functions to facilitate this would be well received on both ends, as it’s also an opportunity for students to practice networking.
  • It was explained to the students present that increasing the culture of giving back to CC from our early years in college could be very useful to achieve goals such as need-blind admission

 

The Career Center/Post-Grad

  • Alumni networks and OurCC is great; this learning-how-to-network hurdle is a huge one for students to get over
  • Setting students up with internships and jobs directly (think PIFP) is fabulous, and everyone’s really excited about the new internship campaign
  • Students love advice from super-cool alums; they also want to hear about how many currently successful people fumbled around for a while directly after graduation
  • The idea of having trustees engage more in this mentor- type of interaction with students (individual and groups) while on campus was discussed

 

Admission

  • The importance of diversity, especially socio-economic, was discussed both extensively and passionately. Students would really like to see need-blind admissions.
  • Increasing the culture of giving back to CC from students’ early years in college could be very useful to achieve this and other goals

 

The Strategic Plan

  • A lot of students don’t know what’s going on, but perhaps this is alright. The avenues to pursue involvement have been highlighted to the student body, and the ones who care are engaged and interested
  • When asked for their views on strategic planning, a couple students felt that we need steps to create more community, such as First Monday. The intensity of the block plan may create a community of interest within a block class, but not with the rest of the students at CC or even with their own classmates. It’s fragmented. And every block, it starts over.
  • Students love interactive events and forums, such as dinners such as this one and town halls with Jill
  • Students commented on an equalizing of the CC experience between departments

 

The endowment

  • It is really a philosophical conversation that needs to be had… is divesting effective, can money within the free market be construed as “good” or “evil,” etc?

 

Library Renovation

  • Library renovation came up in several conversations. Students would like to see it become more dynamic and provide more study locations, as it can often get overcrowded (particularly lacking in group study rooms)
  • The library needs to expand not in number of books, but in number of places to work both independently and collaboratively. It could have spaces to study in isolation, while also having a cafeteria (that is always open!) and/or other social areas to offer students an opportunity to explore their academic passions and exchange ideas, all in one place.

The Skinny on Tuition

While rumors about a 10%, 15% or even a 40% tuition increase for next year have been circulating around campus, it turns out, nothing’s been decided yet! The Budget Committee (which has two student members) will make a recommendation to President Tiefenthaler in December, and then she makes a recommendation to the Board in February.

These parties undertake a thorough analysis of financial aid, salaries, operating costs, and strategic initiatives to determine CC’s cost of attendance. Last year there was a 4.37% increase in the comprehensive fee.

2012-13

Tuition $41,332
Student Activity Fee $410
Room Allowance $5,496 double room in residence hall
Board Allowance $4,232 meal plan C
Books & Supplies $1,214 estimate
Personal/Travel $1,516 non-Colorado residents
$966 Colorado residents
Total cost $54,200 non-Colorado residents
$53,650 Colorado residents

Student Endowment Discussion – Monday (11/12) 7pm Upstairs Worner

To be discussed:

-Survey results and thoughts on info session
-Student interest and getting info out there. This is a continuing issue and is something we need to think about sustaining in future years. How should we expend our energies here?
-We also need to think about the fact that a lot of people see the only problem surrounding the endowment as the fact that people are still complaining about it. This is also not necessarily a minority considering all the students who are silent or apathetic on this issue. Think of this along with the first comment and let’s discuss how we should go about extending our reach.
-Sustainability…socially responsible investing…What do these terms mean? We really need to nail these down before moving forward, even if we give it a shoddy first stab.
-A lot of people have cited or alluded to the hypocrisy element – our core values state one thing, our endowment practices say another. This is big sauce. What direction should we look at this from?

Places to Go
-What do we do about getting info out there, providing places for input, involving more than just students, etc? (we can think short term on this one too – a lot of people have been talking about getting speakers in and having panels, etc. One thing we might want to think about here is the diverging philosophical approach)
-How do we make this long term? How do we feel about a committee/group/etc? The big question is who.
-Presentation to the board on research on the performance of sustainable investments and what other schools are doing. That would be just after school ends in May. There is also the possibility of presenting to the wider CC community, etc. Results will be vital one way or the other and someone really needs to step up and do the research. This is very awesome. Any takers?
-What avenues do we want to consider walking down? What discussions/recommendations are we leaning toward at this point, if any? Let’s get them out there on the table. (e.g. reviving proxy voting, creating a “sustainably” invested portion of the corpus, picking and choosing “sustainably minded” managers, just educating those who are interested, redrafting our core values to fit our present endowment practices, asking Bristol to redistribute our funds only to companies that fit certain ‘rules’ or ‘principles,’ etc)
-Students have been asked for and really need to present a cohesive front. Meaning an answer to the above and a defining of terms.

Come share your ideas at the meeting or with a comment below

Endowment Info Session

As the result of an impressive amount of sustained interest on campus, CCSGA and I are co-hosting an Endowment Info Session to answer any questions the campus body has in regard to the endowment – from “Why don’t we invest more ‘sustainably?’”to “What the heck does ‘hedged equity’ mean?”

Come to Worner at 4:00pm on November 6th (election day – don’t forget to vote!) and ask questions of Jill Tiefenthaler, Robert Moore, and Stacy Lutz Davidson. And did I mention there is Free Pizza!

I really want to hear as many student voices on this issue as possible, so please come, learn, and share your thoughts with me! Even more importantly, before you come, check out the Endowment page on this website (link on left of screen) for more background information.

Strategic Planning Town Hall!

As part of President Tiefenthaler’s Strategic Planning Process, the Colorado College Student Government is hosting a Town Hall meeting with President Tiefenthaler on Thursday, October 18thfrom 4:00 to 5:30 in East Rastall for you to learn more about the process and voice your opinions about the direction the college should take.

We invite you to come and help to define what Colorado College will become in the coming years, and to offer your opinions, criticisms, and suggestions for creating a strategy for improving our institution.

The importance of your involvement could not be greater. The choices this college makes in the coming year will define the image that will not only affect the future of the college and its mission, but the reputation and label that will follow you as a student with a degree bearing its name.

We in the Student Government hope to continue and improve Colorado College’s image as one of the premier institutions of higher education in the United States. That is only possible with your participation.

Read more about President Tiefenthaler’s planning process here. Or download the summary of her Year of Listening, detailing what she finds to be the core attributes of the college.

See you on Thursday!

Endowment Transparency

The Office of Finance & Administration has recently created this document to help streamline access to, and understanding of, the endowment. The October 12 issue of the Catalyst and the October 17 issue of the Cipher have articles expanding on this topic.

Endowment Fact Sheet

Additionally, information on JW Bristol’s holdings (companies) may be accessed in Tutt Library at the Circulation desk soon.

 

For more information on the endowment and sustainable investing, visit:

http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/business/endowment/

http://sustainability.coloradocollege.edu/proxyvote.html

 

Additionally, on November 6th at 4:00pm in Worner, there will be an information session with Robert Moore, VP of Finance, Stacy Lutz Davidson, Director of the Endowment, and Jill Tiefenthaler, President.

If you have any questions or comments about any of the above, I would really love to hear them. Please email, call, or post below.

 

 

Exciting Career Center Inititiative

In an effort to make better use of our alumni connections in the pursuit of helping CC students find jobs, the President Tiefenthaler and the Career Center are launching an exciting new internship program during homecoming weekend (October 11-14). The Board of Trustees is taking the lead in Forming, Finding, or Funding what will eventually be 250 summer and year-long paid internships exclusively for CC students.

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