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Campus Life

Leaders See “an Explosion of Energy” at BU

Student Union, dean to outline community goals on Dec. 11

Brooke Feldman (SED'08, CAS'08), the Student Union president, says that the union is working to achieve the president's goal of "One BU."

At the end of her first semester as Student Union president, Brooke Feldman (SED’08, CAS’08) has realized that Boston University isn’t that far from achieving President Robert Brown’s goal of “One BU,” or a more unified University. The issue that still needs to be addressed, she says, is that many students simply aren’t aware of how many opportunities they have to be a part of the process.

“I’ve seen an unbelievable explosion of energy on campus,” Feldman says. “There’s increased quality of programming, more efficiency within student life. I think the staff is there to support the students, and I think the culture of student life will change as more students realize that.”

To start spreading the word, the Student Union will give its first state-of-the-union address to faculty, staff, and students on Monday, December 11, at 7 p.m., in Room 206 of the Photonics Center. Feldman and other members of the union, along with Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, will review this semester and discuss initiatives for the coming year.

The goal, Feldman says, is to start a discussion about how to make the University a more cohesive place and make students aware of the efforts that are already under way. The union has established several committees to address different issues on campus — the spirit committee, for example, is in the midst of its “Terrier T” contest, which is seeking designs for a T-shirt that students can wear to athletic events on campus to show school spirit. Other projects reflect the variety of student interests and concerns — the new environmental committee is working with student groups, the Office of the Provost, and students and faculty from the geography department to explore ways to make BU greener by improving energy usage and reducing waste.

A key indicator of how far the idea of “One BU” has come is Elmore’s new Student Life Strategic Planning Task Force, a group charged with identifying and addressing issues that affect a student’s overall experience at the University. “The task force is asking what it means to be a BU student and how to make sense of the BU experience,” says Dan Solworth (CAS’06), a department administrator in the Office of the Dean of Students, who is staffing the task force. The 27-member group, which includes students, administrators, and faculty, has met twice this semester and will be holding discussions with students and University offices and departments starting in February.

Solworth confirms that the group’s priority is making sure students are aware of existing resources. “The sense is that it’s all there, but we need to make sure people know it’s there,” he says. “We have a very good student life program and an excellent BU experience. We just want to make sure people take advantage of it, because it’s not well-known.”

Monday’s event will be covered by BUTV 10. After the presentations, students will have the opportunity to meet with Student Union leaders and administrators and hear a free performance by the a cappella group the Dear Abbeys.

Jessica Ullian can be reached at jullian@bu.edu.