“At Mines we are better than you and we know it.” This slogan, adapted from the movie, Dodgeball (Globogym’s slogan) was a hotly debated topic at last Thursday’s USG meeting in ballroom D.
Associate Dean of Students, Derek Morgan, brought forward a concern about the Homecoming T-shirts. His concern was about the message on the T-shirts and the image that they could bring upon the students, faculty, school, and community. “Who is this message to?” Derek commented. He continued that he believed it was one thing to have pride, one thing to have school spirit, but another to put it on a shirt and taunt others. One representative commented that the shirts foster arrogance that employers and possibly alumni will not like.
Arguments in favor of the shirt preferred to think of the shirt as a strong theme to foster school spirit for the incoming freshmen and to help pave the way for a whole new tradition of homecoming at Mines. Many senators argued that they, and their constituents, are proud of this school, and deserve to celebrate it.
Representatives from MAC were also present at the meeting. They admitted, “We usually like to be more creative,” but that was the best slogan that had been presented, so they ran with it. “MAC went through the correct channels, it’s not their fault that the shirt was approved and now can’t be distributed,” representatives said.
Ultimately, a motion was made and carried for USG to support the distribution of the Homecoming T-shirts with only one vote against the motion.
Guest Speaker Dr. Tracy Gardner, Teaching Associate Professor and Asst. Department Head of the Chemical and Biological Department, stopped by to get opinions for the undergraduate representatives for a new program at Mines, FACTIR. FACTIR, Faculty Administration Collaboration to Improve Retention, is a program led by Dr. Gardner to help bolster retention at Mines.
According to the numbers Gardner provided, in 2009, the freshmen to sophomore retention rate was 87%. Only 40% of students graduate in 4 years, 67% graduate in 6 years (these numbers could not be distinguished from those with Co-ops, double majors or other factors). In comparison, similar schools such as MIT and Cal Tech have a retention well over 90%.
Representatives shared their experience with Gardner and gave advice, such as more TA’s in classes, keeping students on campus more so they become more involved, as well as offering an introductory class to different majors at Mines.
Gardner also shared that in the near future, as a result of FACTIR, there will be a two hour seminar to bring upperclassmen, enthusiastic professors and others to freshmen to help re-excite them as to what engineers can do, after the difficult core classes.
Trevor Crane, the Student Body Treasurer, announced that reallocations for clubs will occur in mid-October. The application process this year will occur entirely through Org Sync. He also showed a summary of the breakdown of the Associated Students Fee, the fee where the money for clubs and reallocation comes from.
Alyssa Brown, At-Large Faculty, shared that the faculty is currently discussing the naming of colleges. She also announced an unprecedented 1700 applications received already from those interested in attending Mines, in comparison to the roughly 60 applications the school has received at this time last year.
RTD routes are currently being re-routed to account for the new light rail station located near the Jefferson County Building, according to At-Large Institution, Josh Ho. Additionally, the school is discussing extending the pedestrian pathway from the Rec Center, all the way to Araphoe between Marquez and the Green Center. Parking lot B next to Weaver and Maple could be gone as soon as next semester to make way for the construction of an additional residence hall. Half of lot E could be stripped to for a new Alumni building in the near future.
The Freshmen Senators announced their office hours to be Sunday 11am-12pm in the USG office.
The Sophomore Senators shared that they are in the process of designing a class T-shirt.
The Junior Class Senators have changed their office hours to occur at 11am in the Digger Den on Tuesdays. They also shared that their constituents have asked about allowing the pedestrian plaza to allow bikes and skateboards, as well as changing the Guggenheim bells to more modern tunes when they ring.
The Senior Class Senators announced plans to kick off their annual T-shirt design contest, where the winning design will be made into the class T-shirt. They are also planning on holding a Senior Bowling Night as well as ordering Senior Stetsons before the semester is over.
BSO announced they will be holding meetings for clubs to learn more about and possibly change their tier level. More information can be found on their website.
If you have any questions or concerns for the Undergraduate Student Government, please contact your class president or stop by your classes office hours.