The Boston University Student Government Academic Affairs Department, at Monday’s Senate meeting, updated students on the Alcohol Awareness Task Force, which is still in its early stages of development.
Samarth Virk, SG Director of Outreach, said the department plans to meet with school administrators throughout the semester to discuss ways the school can deal with alcohol violations and issues.
Details are still unclear as to how the group plans on establishing policies with the school, but Virk, a School of Management junior, said he hopes to increase their communication with the administration.
“We are meeting with administrators basically to establish alcohol policies as well as alcohol use and abuse, on and off campus,” Virk said.
SG will also hold a monthly networking event to give professors and students the opportunity to connect outside of office hours.
The initiative, which was announced at Monday’s senate meeting, is a stride toward creating better relationships between students and professors as well as extending learning beyond the classroom in a social environment that is comfortable.
Colby Rymes, who presented the initiative, said it is common for students to hesitate to approach professors for assistance, particularly when they lecture in a large classroom setting.
“I know at least for me, I’m in the political science department and it’s one of the biggest departments,” Rymes, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said. “… And the idea of going up to that teacher in office hours and just talking to them is a little daunting.”
By fostering an open atmosphere void of pressure, SG seeks to encourage students to make the effort to utilize their professors.
“We’re going to be bringing teachers that really want to meet students out,” Rymes said. “The event is exclusively for socializing with them and getting to know them and getting more opportunities.”
Rashmi Koul, who also presented the project, said in the biology department there is also a large volume of students and the same intimidation factor in approaching these professors.
“When you go to office hours the professor doesn’t have time to get to know students,” Koul, a CAS freshman, said. “It’s just to answer questions for the exam, so there’s never enough time to get to know your professor one-on-one and this would give them [students] the opportunity.”
Rymes said the reception among professors eager to connect with their vast list of students has been positive and generated a large response.
“When we have been working for things like outside of office hours, professors are very willing to be a part of this program,” Rymes said. “We sent out invitations for outside of office hours and within 20 minutes we got responses from the teachers, so they’re really willing to do it.”
SG will test run the open events with both the science and political science departments. The overarching objective is eventually to let the various academic departments take over the program without the assistance from SG, Rymes said.
SG Director of the Department of Recruitment Chris Addis said he had attended an event for his German class similar to the open networking events proposed and found it enriching to his educational experience.
“A couple of months ago there was a German one and it was great,” Addis, a CAS senior, said. “My professors were there, we had some food, we spoke German to each other and it was just really communal.”
Because professors want students to make the most of their availability and constantly seek new ways of engaging them, these events could be as beneficial for the professors as they are for students, Addis said.
“There’s a theme that I actually am getting from my professors, and it’s that they want more engagement, especially from students,” he said. “They want more students to engage them and I think that there is definitely a desire from that end.”