To deliver upon our promise to bring accountability to the UC, below we've placed progress bars for the platforms upon which we campaigned in 2017.
Create a progress bar under all of our campaign policies to track meetings and actions and keep accountability on the UC website.
- We are currently maintaining and updating the website with our progress bars every week at the latest to ensure that the student body is up to date on our meetings and progress.
Advocate for an inclusive, physical space proximate to the Yard to serve as a multicultural center, where students from diverse backgrounds can access resources and socialize.
- Referendum passed overwhelmingly with 1,402 YES votes, 400 NO votes, and 272 abstainstions
- There was a town hall attended by nearly 100 Harvard students held on January 26.
- UC members went to tour MIT’s new SPXCE that had just opened this semester and talk with the director and members of student government that helped push it through on Feb 9.
- The Undergraduate Council passed the Proposal for Action on a Physical Space for Belonging on March 25.
- UC Representatives, Nicholas Whittaker and Salma Abdelrahmen met with Dean Khurana with Dean Davis.
- Advocated to President Faust about the need for this space from constituents on April 6th.
- Dean Davis announces that Dean Khurana has accepted the UC Proposal to research the establishment of a multicultural center on campus on April 9th.
- We had a call on July 13th with Dean Khurana, Joan Rouse, and Dean Davis, where Dean Khurana updated us that a charge for the committee had been created. The charge for the working group is for the consideration of spaces and symbols for inclusion and belonging at Harvard College. We talked about how the working group would be formed with students, faculty, and administrators and how to make the process as inclusive as possible.
- We have been in contact with all of the relevant stakeholders since school began up again, and had a meeting on Friday, October 26th, where Dean Khurana announced that the Faculty Committee member had been selected and a nomination process for the rest of the committee for students, administration, and faculty would follow suit.
- We were in touch with Joan Rouse, Dean Khurana’s Chief of Staff, through the weeks afterwards to confirm when we could release information, and we sent out an email communication to the student body on November 6th.
- We will be awaiting to hear from the administration as to when we can move forward with this.
Partner with the FDO and FAS to create a first-year social space proximate the Yard and geared towards enhancing freshman life.
- We have met with the FDO and Dean Dingman to talk about a first-year social space proximate the Yard.
- An architect came last fall to look at 4 different spaces on campus to possibly renovate.
- Advocated to Dean Mike Smith on March 22, and emphasized the need for this. He mentioned that since the Smith Campus Center will be opened Fall 2018, they would like to wait to see how the space is utilized.
- Advocated to President-Elect Bacow for such a space that the new Dean of FAS should focus on on April 19th and May 2.
- Have continued dialogue with former Dean of Freshman Thomas Dingman throughout the beginning of this year - the First Year Class Committee had a breakfast with him the week of October 15th to press forward on the issue.
- Advocated to Dean Claudine Gay on October 16 about the importance of the space.
- The First Year Class Committee created a survey, along with Dean Dingman, to gather information about the first-year social experience. On October 28th, the UC voted on legislation from the First-Year Class Committee to distribute a survey to collect information about the First-Year Social Experience. On November 4th, the UC voted to fund $200 in incentives for students to take this survey.
- Once the survey is distributed and results are collected and analyzed, the UC will be using the data to understand the next steps.
- We are continuing dialogue also about how the Smith Campus Center will fit into this conversation now that it has opened to the general student body.
Work with the FDO, building managers, and Office of BGLTQ+ to create an actionable plan for gender inclusive housing and gender neutral bathrooms.
- We have met with the FDO to talk specifically about gender inclusive housing, and talked with Dean Ranen, who was helping lead the committee to draft a proposal for gender-inclusive living spaces on Jan 26th.
- Dean of Freshman, Thomas Dingman officially announced on April 20th that Harvard would expand gender-inclusive housing to first-years!!
- The UC has also created a task force to push for gender neutral bathrooms.
- Trans Task Force came to our February 25th UC General Meeting during Community Time to talk about the need for gender neutral bathrooms & housing.
- Met with the Accessible Education Office to talk about accessible maps on April 17. We are working with them and the Disability Alliance to map out all of the physically accessible spaces and gender neutral bathrooms.
- The Accessible Education Office met with the College’s Title IX office, whom is taking lead on the gender inclusive restroom mapping process. The University Disability Services contracted professionals years ago to map our accessible restrooms, and there is momentum building in other offices, including BGLTQ+ and Title IX.
- We are still in contact about next action steps and what the student role in this project will be.
Advocate for increased access to existing social spaces and more spaces in houses (e.g. a tutor storage space in Quincy).
- Met with Quincy HoCo to talk about the renovation of the Bullit Room into a social space.
- Met with the OSL & Rakesh to talk about funding for these spaces, and learned about the Physical Planning Spaces Committee that has a budget specifically for the renovations of these spaces.
- We are currently working to create a proposal to present it to Quincy House Administration & connect to other houses as well.
- Advocated for these increased spaces and opened dialogue during the Committee on Student Life meeting with administrators, faculty, and students alike on March 1st and March 22nd -- we were advised to talk to all the faculty deans.
- Met with Dean Smith on March 22 and he mentioned the capital campaign focusing a lot on securing funding for the renovation of new spaces. He said that it is important that faculty deans are on board with renovation and open to giving access to the larger Harvard community.
- Worked with House Committees and students on the Committee of Student Life to come up with best practices for parties, including increasing access and quantity of space on April 4.
- Met with the Faculty Deans Docket Committee on April 9 to present these practices -- they were excited about developing new spaces, and mentioned that houses do that during their renovation cycle.
- Presented these best practices to all of the house faculty deans during their monthly meeting on April 18th -- they were all excited about the renovations bringing in new spaces, and we talked about working with RoomBook to not only allow knowledge of these spaces, but also better access to these spaces by all students (with preference to those in the house).
- We have continued these conversations in the fall as well. We met with Dean Lauren Brandt to talk about Roombook and Roombrowse.
- We met with the Faculty Deans Docketing Committee on Nov 5, where we presented the progress, and it was decided that next steps would be to contact House Administrators to get pictures of the spaces. During our meeting with Dean Khurana on November 9th, we continued the conversation, and will be sending UC representatives to take note of their house spaces.
Work with administration to renovate or develop physically accessible spaces, such as an elevator in the Phillips Brooks House.
- We have started dialogue with Dean Lauren Brandt, who is overseeing many of the physical space renovations.
- We have connected to the Disability Alliance and PBHA and are currently talking to both of them.
- Met with Dean Smith to talk about house accessibility on March 22 -- he mentioned that this is a huge priority of house renewals and they are looking at how to create interventions in buildings. This is a longer timeline since Massachusetts has a high bar and making campus completely accessible is tougher.
- Met with the Accessible Education Office to talk about accessible maps on April 17. We are working with them and the Disability Alliance to map out all of the physically accessible spaces and gender neutral bathrooms.
- Met with Dean Gay on October 16th and flagged the importance of physical accessibility on our campus, specifically citing the PBHA elevator.
- Members of our Executive Cabinet met with Harvard College Disability Alliance on October 22nd to discuss possible ways to make Harvard a more accessible and inclusive place for those with disabilities.
Institute and enforce a Plan for Inclusive Excellence consisting of actionable steps to promote diversity, belonging, and inclusion, within the UC.
- Passed legislation to institute the Plan for Inclusive Excellence through our UC general meeting in the beginning of February.
- Met with the Task Force on Bridging and Belonging to get guidance on how the UC can institute the PIE.
- Appointed a Chief of Inclusion to serve on the Executive Cabinet.
Work with the OSL to mandate a Plan for Inclusive Excellence for all officially recognized clubs as part of club registration.
- Started meeting with Dean O’Dair to understand how to best implement in other organizations (most likely through leadership training).
- Met with the Steering Committee on Bridging and Belonging (Danielle Allen and Banks) to talk through what does the Plan of Inclusive Excellence look like for the Undergraduate Council (re: gender equity, racial equity, etc.)
- We are planning on piloting this over the next semester within the UC.
Advocate for Gender 101 Trainings across campus by working with the Harvard Women’s Center to create a training plan for the entire college.
- Legislation on November 5th to allocate $1,000 from First-Year Class Committee budget to pilot “Gender 101” training sessions in freshmen entryways.
- Emails to Peer Advising Fellows end of January to set up 10 Gender 101 Trainings
- Coordinated with Entryways and Women’s Center to schedule 20 trainings during study breaks to pilot
- After this semester, we will be reviewing these trainings and create a plan to move forward from there
Make sure peer counseling groups have furnished spaces and advocate for better spaces for these groups.
- We met with peer counseling groups and got information on how much they would need/what they would want to spend on. We wrote legislation and passed it through our UC General meeting on Dec 3rd.
- We allocated $6000 to peer counseling groups to help furnish their spaces, and they received the check and are in the process of receiving checks/buying their furniture.
- Stay tuned with pictures from the peer counseling groups of what is bought!
Direct the Student Initiatives Committee on the UC to outreach to Hoco’s to collaborate with the goal of every house begin working towards creating a college-wide event that becomes tradition.
- We have brought up this idea with the HoCoCo (the chairs of all the houses), and are in the process of figuring out a plan for this upcoming year.
- Winthrop Underground piloted this past semester as an all campus party.
Create a new publicity system for the Undergraduate Council, so that we can ensure all students are getting the information equally, and not dependent on individual reps in their houses or yards.
- Worked with HUIT to retrieve the UC Secretary account linked to an FAS email account.
- Coordinated with the Registrar to get all Harvard College students’ emails for this list.
- The UC Secretary Email has gone into effect this semester, and emails every student about events going on with the Undergraduate Council.
Create “Harvard Conversations”: A weekly program for faculty members and 10-15 students from all years, concentrations, and backgrounds to converse about a given topic over catered dinner in Senior Common Rooms of houses.
- We created a proposal in December 2017, which was sent out to all the Faculty Deans for feedback and approval.
- We created a task force on the UC to run the logistics of these dinners.
- We connected to the Office of Undergraduate Education, and met with Dean Harris multiple times, who agreed to fund this pilot program $5000 for the semester.
- We passed legislation through the Undergraduate Council on Sunday, Jan 28 to allocate $3000 to this initiative through a Burst Pack. This passed unanimously.
- We emailed out an interest form to different faculty members and had over 60 who were interested.
- We connected with a house from each neighborhood, Quincy, Cabot, Winthrop, and Leverett, who will be hosting 5 dinners this semester.
- We started running these dinners on February 12th, and have them every Monday and Wednesday evening.
- Instituted a weekly publicity system and sign up for these dinners.
- We have been getting feedback from the dinners & will use that to inform our next steps.
Institute the Matchmaker Collaboration Grant, a grant in which officially recognized student groups who submit applications are randomly paired with another organization on campus. They will be given $150 to have a social event for members of both organizations. Receipts will not be collected.
- We passed legislation on our first meeting to establish the Matchmaker Grant, which can be found through the UC grants website link.
Restructure the UC website to be a centralized base that lists all mental health, sexual assault, spiritual, religious, and ethical, and financial resources on campus and within Harvard.
- We are currently working with mental health groups and sexual assault prevention groups, along with college offices, to ensure that the resources are all there.
- We are in collaboration with the Interfaith Forum and different religious groups to understand what would be best for students in terms of spiritual, religious, and ethical resources.
- We are working with the College offices and our Treasurer to help consolidate financial resources.
- These will be up by Fall 2018 for the new school year.
Sponsor collaborative dinners between peer counselors, mental and sexual health educators, administrators, and affiliated students to facilitate administrative support and open channels of communication towards promoting mental health for peer counseling groups.
- During our meeting with Dean Khurana on November 9th, we will be proposing different dates.
Host and support events that mix student leaders and administration to facilitate stronger connections.
- The Multicultural Center Town Hall on Jan 26 brought together students and several administrators.
- We started a “Meet the Deans” series with our UC members in order to facilitate lunches with the various deans at the college, and from its success, we are looking towards expanding it out to student leaders.
Create a page on the UC website which serves as a hub linking alumni connection resources.
- We have been collaborating with the Harvard Alumni Association and the Office of Student Life to think through how student groups are currently accessing and utilizing alumni.
- It is important for groups to register all members on the Hub, as starting last year, it will help keep an alumni database synced that will help inform the HAA.
- These are the current services that are offered for student organizations.
Bridge the gap between the OSL, the Admissions Office, and student groups to help cultural organizations reach out to potential new members.
- Talked with Joe Flanagan and Dean Miller from the Office of Student Life to understand how student groups work together to recruit new members.
- We are in conversation with the admissions office to see if this data can be released to cultural organizations.
Create a training for the new treasurers of every organization at the beginning of each semester on how to navigate the grant system and other systems of funding, so that organizations do not need to rely on institutional memory.
- The new training for the treasurers during the Spring Semester was held on Monday, February 12 from 8-10 PM in the Winthrop Senior Common Room. This was school-wide publicized and treasurers of student organizations were emailed about the session.
- Our current Treasurer holds office hours every week in Lamont Cafe.
- The Fall 2018 Session was on Friday, October 26th from 4:30-5:30 PM in Sever 102.
Advocate for bringing back the Dean’s Student Life Travel Fund for safe travel practices for organizations.
- Met with Dean Miller to discuss this fund, and learned that the funding would be re-oriented and given to academic travel. The reason why it was pulled originally was because there was a lack of accountability about the funds and how students were using them.
- Legislation was brought before the council to retroactively help offset costs for student groups and was voted down.
Support student organizations by incorporating an Alumni Connections Workshop through leadership training, so that all organizations understand how to access the alumni network.
- The leadership training is currently in development for Fall 2018, and will include a component of Alumni Connections Workshop.
Partner with the Women’s Center to develop a workshop about gender dynamics in male dominated spaces.
- We had a Teaching Fellow Gender Training on Nov 2nd with undergraduates, teaching fellows, and staff members. We did a pilot workshop to see what this would look like.
Advocating for textbook accessibility by working with the Financial Aid Office to better publicize how financial aid can be used towards textbooks.
- We had a meeting with the Head of the Financial Aid office, Sally Donahue, on November 2nd, where we talked about financial accessibility and ways that the financial aid office could help out students.
- The Undergraduate Council voted to adopt a sponsorship with CollegeXChange to create a textbook and college supplies exchange site. Through this site (thecollegexchange.com), students can buy/sell/exchange old textbooks and other items at affordable rates instead of paying for overpriced new ones.
- Communication was sent out through the UC Weekly on April 16th.
- During a meeting with Dean Claybaugh on September 5th, we advocated and discussed the nature of textbooks at the college. We talked about different possible platforms.
Pushing the College to fund tampon distribution through the Women’s Hygiene Campaign.
- This has been a long on-going project of the Undergraduate Council. The UC voted to allocate $1000 for tampons and pads for a 1-month long pilot project in first-year dorms in Fall of 2016.
- We have partnered with PERIOD and the Women's Hygine Campaign to continue advocacy on this issue throughout the past several years.
- During our meeting with former FAS Dean Smith on March 22, 2018, we advocated for their to be funding allocated to this project and the importance of it.
- During our meeting with Dean Khurana on April 30th, we talked about implementation methods, and he connected us to the Office of Physical Resources and Planning under FAS.
- We had a meeting with the Office of Physical Resources and Planning under FAS in May 2018 to discuss what this project would look like moving forward in the summer.
- Over the summer, we liaisoned with the Office of Physical Resources and Planning under FAS, as they worked to install tampon dispensers. This was completed by August 2018.
- We sent out communication about this in a student-wide email on August 31st.
- They have all been successfully installed into all of the houses / yards! The Undergraduate Council created a video, and the locations of the menstrual hygiene products can be found at uc.fas.harvard.edu/resources/menstrual-hygiene-products.
Instituting electronic voting internally within the UC so that voting procedures on legislation are more accurate, efficient, and transparent.
- We partnered with Cabot Science Center Library to use clickers for our weekly meetings.
- We passed legislation to ensure that the constitution incorporated electronic voting.
- We installed and taught the technology needed to incorporate this into our council.
Demand a policy of affirmative consent rather than unwelcome conduct through working with the Title IX office.
- We have talked with Our Harvard Can Do Better to hear about the current work that is being done and help collaborate on this.
- Met with Seth Avakian
- and are connecting to the Title IX office to learn more about why the policy of affirmative consent is not in place.
Work with CAMHS, HUHS, and the university administration to hire more full-time mental health professionals, with an explicit focus on diversity.
- Met with Dr. Lewis and CAMHS team on March 8th with Trans Task Force to talk about making CAMHS more accessible, and from that meeting, preferred gender pronouns feature will be coming to the HUHS check-in software this summer! This way, receptionists and counselors alike will not misgender students.
- Worked with HUHS & CAMHS to release data from mental health survey to students on May 2nd. We are following up about the results of CAMHS feedback forms to see students’ experiences with counselors.
- Connected with HUHS on Friday, September 28th on a call to talk about creating student working groups about the mental health survey to understand where interventions should be.
- This was followed-up by creating two working groups: an Intervention Group and a Data Analysis group through a form that was sent to the entire student body - these groups have been continually meeting with HUHS throughout the year. Please contact Ajay Singh, Director of Student Faculty Committees with any questions.
Work with SMHL and CAHMS to develop a training module for proctors, tutors, and resident deans to ensure knowledge of mental health issues and make referrals to available resources. This module would be implemented either as a required electronic training module or an in-person annual training session, working with SMHL’s in each house.
- We appointed a representative on the UC to be our liason with SMHL - as the leadership and the Council changes, we are continuing to ensure our points of contact.
- Met with Kevin, the Outreach Coordinator for CAMHS end of September to talk about trainings for proctors, tutors, and resident deans.
- Dr. Lewis confirmed in an email that they had trainings for Dean’s and Proctor’s during the summer, as well as intermittently throughout the year for tutors in the house. This is dependent on the particular Faculty Dean, and Daniel Becton organizes the tutor trainings.
- We are in contact with the Bok Center and SMHL to begin developing a model.
Fight for administration to affirm commitment to standards of 2011 policy and continue to improve it, in light of Betsy DeVos’s proposed Title IX Policy changes.
- On December 12, 2017, President Faust sent out an email releasing the 2017 Report of the University’s Title IX Office and Office of Dispute Resolution.
Work with Title IX to make the sexual assault training module more interactive.
- Participated in a focus group with CARE and other student representatives to provide feedback and talk about the language of the sexual assault training module.
- Met with Emily Miller, the College TItle IX Coordinator to talk about making the module more interactive.
- We were connected with Nicole Merhill, who works with Title IX on the University level, and is working to make the module interactive. The designer has to have myriad qualifications to make sure whatever they produce is fully accessible. This requires a formal training for certification.
- Title IX Office will look into research about what’s possible before moving forward.
Work with Title IX and the Registrar to put an advising hold on my.harvard to ensure all students go through sexual assault training.
- We advocated for having this advising hold to Dean Khurana.
- We met with Emily Miller, College Title IX coordinator, and talked through ideas of having an advising hold or having faculty deans involved when it comes to admonishment.
- We are in contact with the Communications Manager for the Registrar’s Office to talk about making this a reality.
Ensure that every house has a first-gen, low-income tutor and a race relations tutor and that they receive a stipend from the University, just as Fellowship & CARE tutors are compensated. Push for expansion of the First-Gen, Low-Income Student Advocate at the FDO to support students of all years.
- We are beginning to start conversation about how to tutor hiring with faculty deans to ensure that every house has quality resources.
- With the new integration of the FDO and OSL, we are in conversation with the Dean of Students Office to ensure there is a First-Gen, Low-Income Student Advocate in general.
Ensure that the peer counseling groups have funding that is institutionalized for dining hall swipe access during their training period before the school year begins.
- We are checking in with the Dean of the College’s office to ensure that funding still exists for opening days for peer counseling groups.
Stand with Dreamers and commit to using our resources to support undocumented students.
- Met with Act on a Dream and Katie Derzon, the former Fellow for Undocumented Students, to talk about how UC can support undocumented students on Feb 8.
- The UC voted to pass a Statement of Solidarity with DACA and TPS Recipients and Undocumented Students on March 4th.
Push for Harvard College to officially change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.
- Met with Native Americans at Harvard College and heard the need for Indigenous People’s Day to be completely recognized on Harvard’s calendar (the petition was endorsed by the UC in Oct 2016, and Cambridge City Council changed the name of the holiday in Oct 2017)
- Met with Dean Smith on March 22nd to advocate and he mentioned that this was done at the University level, since it says both the state and nation level labelling. He mentioned that changing the calendar is oftentimes a multiyear endeavor.
- Met with Dean Khurana to discuss this name change on March 23rd -- was told that this happens at a University level, and all internal, non-official documents use Indigenous People’s Day; the current Harvard Calendar uses both names since they are different on a federal and city level
- Brought this up to President Faust at our semesterly meeting on April 6 -- she mentioned that last year, the University asked the individual schools to make the decision of how to name it and will look into where the University currently uses the name.
- We will be following up with President Faust and President-Elect Bacow as the year continues on.
Create a coalition to push for education studies as a secondary at the college.
- The UC has been actively working since Fall 2016 with HGSE Professor Kay Merseth to create a proposal and get faculty on board with the secondary. We are currently in contact with Professor Reuben, who is now spearheading the Secondary Field for Educational Studies, and Dean Harris, the Dean of Undergraduate Education.
- We outreached to students and partnered with the Bok Center to do filming for an Education Secondary on February 20th, February 22nd, and March 2nd.
- Stayed in close contact with the Education Policy Committee in which the proposal had to be approved through.
- The UC Education Committee released this video on the Importance of an Education Secondary on April 4th.
- Dean of the Graduate School of Education James Ryan announced that the Education Secondary had been approved on April 11th, and the Crimson announced on April 12.
- Since then, there have been several articles that have come out, from an editorial to an op-ed to excitement from students!!
Advocate heavily for ethnic studies and the hiring of more diverse faculty.
- The UC has connected with TAPAS to learn more about ethnic studies.
- Met with Dean Gay on March 1 to talk about the importance of ethnic studies and the hiring of diverse faculty with TAPAS.
- Met with Dean Harris on March 20, where he mentioned they would be convening faculty to hear their common goals with this proposal, and we planned to hold a larger meeting with faculty and students together in the discussion for the end of the year.
- Advocated to Dean Smith on March 22 meeting about the history and continued work and need for it.
- Advocated to President-Elect Bacow about the importance of diverse hiring and focus on Ethnic Studies for the new Dean of FAS.
- Had a planning meeting on April 21 with undergraduate and graduate students to prepare for faculty and deans discussion meeting.
- Ethnic Studies Discussion on April 26th with Dean Gay, Dean Kelsey, Dean Harris, and various faculty members who expressed interest in helping this. We talked about a framework in which to approach this conversation and what the timeline looks like. Dean Gay said the low-hanging fruit are hiring more diverse faculty.
Push for getting American Sign Language recognized as a language requirement by the college.
- The UC has met with the Department of Linguistics to learn more. We have connected to the Deaf Action Committee (DAC) organization at Harvard, and we are learning about the process of how to get a language requirement to count. We have connected with faculty members as well, who support the initiative, to help write a motion for the faculty to vote on if needed. We are waiting to hear about the steps in the process of how to move forward.
- Met with Dean Harris on March 5 to talk about ASL as language citation. He had said “The Committee studying the language requirement plans to recommend that ASL meet the language requirement; this will be an uphill fight in the Faculty, but we are doing what we can to make the case. Citations (which require 4 terms beyond beginners level) will take longer, as we do not yet offer 6 semesters of ASL, and may not be able to for some time.”
- We continued to work with DAC to mobilize student support throughout the Spring semester and met with Dean Harris several more times.
- On September 26th, the Faculty Council voted to change the foreign language requirement that would allow languages such as American Sign Language and Ancient Greek to meet the requirement. This then goes to the Faculty Committee.
- On November 6th, the Faculty Committee voted to adopt this into the handbook! American Sign Language is now officially counted!