SGA met again in the cozy, if bright, room of Diana 502, eager and ready to ask tough questions of their administrative guest, Linda Bell. There, once again, Diana Bureau Chief Madeleine Ball watched and listened, as stoic as a Stark in the godswood.
This week, SGA began their meeting by excitedly welcoming Barnard’s provost, Linda Bell, as the administrative guest. As provost, Bell oversees Barnard’s curricular affairs. While Bell admitted right from the get-go that she knew little of student life, Bell still offered wise commentary and exciting news that definitely piqued the rep council’s interest.
Though only discussed briefly, Bell mentioned that is was time to reevaluate the Nine Ways of Knowing. This news was met with obvious excitement- especially considered Barnard’s version of the Core has not been substantially updated in nearly a decade. According to Bell, this process will most likely take a few years (bummer), but will utilize faculty and student discussions as a way of involving the whole campus. One of the more noble goals of this endeavor, Bell noted, was to create new intersections between science and humanities classes. This would, hopefully, reduce the polarization between the two areas of study.
Bell also offered discussion regarding the recent, controversial decision to make professor course evaluations public to students. As was pointed out by members of the rep council, there has been little indicator that this decision will actually come to fruition, much to everyone’s chagrin. While Bell could not provide any details on when this decision will actually take effect, and indeed, did not even know such a decision had been made, she did discuss her worries with the notion in general. In particular, Bell, fears professors might sacrifice academic rigor in favor of complimentary reviews. It should be noted that in the 60’s and 70’s, Barnard’s course evaluations were public, but the practice faded through time. In any case, it doesn’t seem this debate will be ending anytime soon.
Finally, Bell discussed efforts to attract diverse, qualified faculty to Barnard. Though it will always be a work in progress, and further, a work that should never end, Bell asserts that Barnard must make this mission a priority. While potential professors are certainly attracted to high salaries and superior resources, ultimately, what entices faculty to Barnard is the dream of scholarly achievement, or more so, that they can achieve here more than at any competing institution. That’s something Barnard can’t fake to potential faculty, nor would they. “If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk.” Bell adds, “That’s a good quote for the press.”
In other Barnard news, the Seven Sisters coordinating board met this weekend without a hitch. Two or three members from each of the sisters were on campus, ensuring that collaboration between the schools was maintained. To get involved in this program, visit SGA’s page online. In other exciting news, a Barnard town hall is in the works for February 27th at 6pm! There will be an open mic, so make sure to bring your questions, complaints, and compliments. The format, which is still under discussion, will be largely formed from student feedback.
On February 16th, there will a night celebrating Barnard athletics. Make sure to come out and show your support for the women’s basketball team as they head off against Yale. In the past, free swag has been given out- though we’re sure you didn’t need the extra incentive. Finally, saving the absolute best for last, a new hand dryer has been installed in the third floor Diana bathroom. This XLERATOR hand dryer is one of a kind on Barnard’s campus, given as trial, and even has Barnard’s logo printed on it. Unfortunately, fellas, this ground breaking machinery is only available in the women’s restroom, so continue to suffer in the dark ages of hand drying. Look forward to more SGA updates next week!
Stock-photo-of-a-guy-in-a-wind-tunnel-because-there-wasn’t-one-with-a-girl via Shutterstock