The Yale College Dean’s Office will convene a new undergraduate task force to advise faculty and staff on plans for the two new residential colleges.
The creation of the task force, officially called the Standing Committee on Yale College Expansion, was announced Wednesday in a Yale College Council email. The email called for applicants to the committee, which will eventually include four students and be part of a larger steering committee that includes students, local alumni, faculty and staff, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway said. He added that the steering committee will discuss a variety of strategies that could prepare Yale College for a 15 percent increase in its student body, with the overall goal of addressing potential problems in the planning for the College’s expansion before they arise.
“[The members come from] very different constituencies, so we’re hoping that there will be a robust conversation from these different perspectives,” Holloway said.
Administrators first suggested that a student advisory group be created last May when the Ad Hoc Committee on Yale College Expansion published a report that recommended the inclusion of student perspectives in planning for the new colleges to advise the University on “concerns that arise ahead of, and in the first years following, the new colleges’ opening.”
According to the report, some members of the ad hoc committee will identify ways to preserve “the Yale College experience” when the new colleges open. These members will present their ideas to the new steering committee. Students will then point out the advantages and disadvantages of each suggestion, YCC vice-president Maia Eliscovich Sigal ’16 said.
“Holloway has talked about this a lot insofar as, at a minimum, we want the current student experience to be maintained when these new colleges come in,” Herbert said. “Hopefully we get even better, but at a minimum, we want it to be maintained.”
The steering committee’s findings will eventually be reported back to University President Peter Salovey and Provost Benjamin Polak, Holloway said.
Previously, students could offer advice to the ad hoc committee during two undergraduate forums held last spring — one to discuss academic services one to discuss student life, Polak said. Several meetings also took place with members of the Yale College Dean’s Advisory Committee and students actively involved with the Center for International and Professional Experience.
Polak said that the membership of the ad hoc committee did not include students because Salovey had specifically requested that it focus on teaching, learning and student services. In addition, an earlier group that included students had already issued a report in 2008, he added.
Still, the creation of the new task force will allow students to address issues that the existing committee may not have considered, YCC president Michael Herbert ’16 said.
“I hope that it will help highlight student concerns so that from a student perspective, the transition to an enlargement of the student body will be as smooth as possible,” he said.
Applications for the committee are only open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors, because the new colleges’ development is an ongoing process and members are expected to serve for two years, Herbert said.
The YCC executive board will interview each candidate and decide on the final committee before Thanksgiving break, Eliscovich Sigal said.
“A successful candidate will be involved in various areas of student life at Yale to properly point out the potential problems with the expansion,” she said.
After its membership is established, the standing committee will begin meeting either at the end of this semester or the beginning of next, Holloway said, adding that it will probably meet a few times each term.
Applications for the Alcohol Recommendations Implementation Committee, Traffic Safety Committee, Career Services Advisory Committee and Provost Undergraduate Advisory Committee are being accepted by the University as well.