USG discusses centralizing professors’ office hours
Class of 2016 senator Eduardo Lima presented a new idea to create a central online location for office hours that would allow students enrolled in a class with multiple sections or precepts to find and attend the office hours of professors or preceptors who teach any of those sections.
Lima said he met with Office of Information Technology Vice President Jay Dominick and Director of Academic Services Serge Goldstein, who were “very receptive to the idea and 100 percent on board” with the idea, according to the USG’s agenda.
After Dominick and Goldstein suggested that he implement his idea through the Web Appointment Scheduling System, Lima submitted a proposal to change WASS in order to automatically generate calendars for office hours for classes in which students are enrolled.
U-Councilor Gavin Cook ’15 said he thought that some professors who enjoy student interaction wouldn’t mind opening their office hours to students outside of their precepts or classes, especially since it can be difficult for students to remember all the different appointment times.
It could be possible to provide an option to show the office hours to students on WASS, but to also require a student to email a given professor in order to be allowed to attend office hours, Class of 2014 senator Charissa Shen suggested.
Lima said he plans to meet with various department heads next in order to discuss ways that the faculty can get involved with the project.
But not all members of the USG agreed that the plan was feasible.
“If you want to get professors on board then you probably shouldn’t open their hours up,” U-Councilor Sarah Wiley ’13 said. “It’s getting in the way of students who are in a class with them.”
The USG also discussed the success of Friday’s spring bike tune-up event, which was co-hosted by the USG and Student Health Advisory Board. Academics Committee chair Dillon Sharp ’14, who was one of the coordinators for the event, said the event was much more popular than he had anticipated.
“Going into this project, we had always kind of thought of it as a one-time thing,” Sharp said, adding that after seeing the success of the event the USG would review the event’s statistics to determine whether to host another tune-up.
According to Sharp, more than 200 people showed up during the three-hour event, and 15 to 20 people stood in the line at all times.
“We honestly didn’t expect that many people,” Sharp said. “It was amazing to see.”
If the event were to take place again in the future, U-Councilor Zhan Okuda-Lim ’15 suggested that the organizers of the event consider getting extra oil and parts, and Sharp said he would advise hiring mechanics.
“We weren’t able to do anything that would require new parts,” Sharp said of Friday’s event, adding that most of the tune-ups included adjusting seats, handlebars and brakes and showing the bike owners how to make the adjustments.
Plans for the Princeton 2017 website, which will be launched early to mid-April for students accepted to the Class of 2017, were also discussed at the meeting.
In working with the admission office, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Residential College Advisers, U-Councilor Paul Riley ’15 said the main task before the USG is to update the website’s content.
Though some members of the USG expressed concerns of redundancy between the Princeton 2017 website and the Path to Princeton website, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne said at the meeting that the benefit of this website is that “it’s an additional resource that is solely student-run.”
The USG plans to discuss its budget and the success of Mental Health Week, among other items, at its meeting next week.
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