Administration Acts on Student Petition
Published in Inside - Volume VII, No. 2
Frustrated by the lack of student community at TC?
Perhaps you were one of the students who handed out flyers a year ago, visited the petition Web site or even stopped by the Macy Computer Lab to join the other Teachers College students who supported a group of students committed to making changes at TC.
The petition read, "We, the students of Teachers College, in efforts to foster much needed improvements in the areas of student engagement and membership, put forth the following petition. It is our hope that this petition will 1) give voice to the student body, 2) shape current and future school policy, 3) establish the fact that student silence does not equal student apathy, and 4) improve the overall Teachers College climate for all members of the community." The petition then outlined several problems that the students have encountered at Teachers College and offered some solutions as well.
After presenting the petition to the members of the senior administration, representatives of the group met regularly with members of the administration. The goals, the administration felt, were laudable, though priorities needed to be decided on to make the suggested improvements possible.
"President Levine and the administration went step by step through the petition," said Connie Bond, who received her Ph.D. in the Department of Human Development and was the Coordinator of Educational Policy at TC.
The Concerned Grad Coalition was formed three years ago, Bond said, by several students united by concerns about their experiences at the College. "We decided to pull together a group of students interested in making Teachers College a better place for students."
Progress in making TC a "better place" has moved rapidly. Paul Acquaro, TC Web Editor, worked with academic and administrative departments to increase use of the online Calendar of Events. When you go to the TC homepage, www.tc.columbia.edu, maximize your browser window to be sure that you see the stripe near the bottom that shows important upcoming events. You can click on any of those items for more detail. You can also click on "Calendar Highlights" there or "Calendar" in the black menu stripe at the top of homepage to browse events information.
An extensive array of e-mail lists by program with rollups by departments and degrees was established to enable academic departments to send information to their students. These lists are reloaded weekly from the Student Information System, based on the program information in that system.
An online discussion is slated to open very soon. Called All TC Forum, it will be accessed through "My TC Portal," which has a link at the top of the TC homepage on the black menu stripe. The portal provides a personalized entry point for students to their online class materials and communication in ClassWeb.
The administration will also be addressing other issues, such as financial support, consistency of policies within programs and academic departments, and interdepartmental and inter-school collaboration. The College is also committed to publishing academic guidelines for all students and guides for all programs. The guides will be made available in both paper copies and on-line. An e-mail encompassing these issues will go to all TC students.previous page