The undergraduates in the Student Government Association this week released a special white paper for the new Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. The document outlined a wide variety of topics that are important to the undergraduate student body. SGA formed a special committee over two months ago, comprised of various student organization leaders and SGA members, to write the white paper. The committee’s job was to disseminate the feelings of the student body and to lay out that information for the president.
The white paper breaks down into two main sections. One discusses the subject of pride for the Tech community, and the other addresses areas that the committee felt are in need of improvement.
Tops in the subject of pride was the topic of campus sustainability. Tech has stated a commitment to various areas relating to sustainability in order for it to become a leader in this field. The language of the white paper hoped that Peterson would continue to commit to green initiatives.
Other areas of pride that the white paper touched upon were Tech’s leadership in community diversity and the international opportunities opened to students.
As for improvements undergraduates felt Tech should undertake, the white paper outlined the intellectual diversity as one of the primary concerns. As an institute focused on technology, it is often believed that achieving a well-rounded education can be difficult. The white paper committee felt that Tech needs more emphasis on a diverse curriculum, emphasizing on community service and more liberal arts expansion.
The faculty at Tech, while praised for their innovative research, was named in the white paper as having to improve on their teaching ability. Several of the issues of concern were minimal attention and care given to teaching, extreme grade curving and the lack of coherent English skills.
There are also improvements called for in campus communications, such as with the campus web portal. T-Square is thought to lack many of the features needed for a suitable full-scale web portal. The proper portal for students used could be considered one of the major frustrations for students.
Finally, the last area that the white paper highlighted for improvement was student support services. These issues centered around academic advising and tangible levels of encouragement for students. Academic advising has been named as a source of confusion and frustration for many students. Thus Tech needs to put a priority on this area as it is crucial for students success.
Upon receiving the white paper, Peterson said that he would look over the recommendations and will further respond once they had been internally discussed.