School and research inter-gration. | UVA Student Council

Dearest Students and University Community,

I hope you are excited for a fantabulous year. This is my 8th year here, and you would think I would grow tired of the same old thing – absolutely not. Why? Cause of StudCo. Because we heard you, we loved it, and we are doing it.

You will hear from our vibrant President Morrison talk about SpeakUpUva and of course the many other activities that the Presidential Committees are working on given your input. I want to spend my time talking about two very important initiatives: inter-school relations with a particular focus on graduate schools and the possible start of a new Presidential Committee.

When you first took the tour of the University’s Academical Village, you probably heard the guide talk about Jefferson’s vision for the University and his symbolic architecture. In our Founder’s eternal wisdom, he postulated that there is something to gain from interactions with which you may have little familiarity. He believed through exposure and possible integration across various subjects, such as the arts, languages, and sciences, that the purpose of education of may be realized. This makes sense – these are not his words alone, but yours as well. You found the best products to be a result of collaboration across the subjects – an engineer and doctor innovating a new operation procedure, a foreign affairs expert and a teacher sprouting imaginative teaching methods, a lawyer and scientist defining patents, etc. So what can Student Council do to help? Two specific initiatives. Firstly, an annual leadership conference amongst school council leaders, CIO leaders, and student council reps to expand social networks, share research and publication opportunities, and provide feedback on organizational successes and failures. Though the details are still in works, we anticipate the major product to be a more interconnected student network in our vision for improved interschool relations. Secondly, a committee focused on graduate school events and mixers. With a more social prerogative than the leadership conference, this committee would share calenders across graduate schools for better mixing opportunities.

Ok, so interschool relations are awesome. What else do we have planned? We are in the works of starting an entirely new Presidential Committee focused on entrepreneurship and research. We have listened, and we have seen the great, many initiatives around Grounds – research competitions, investment clubs, startups, business groups, social entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability projects, etc. Student Council wants to support these initiatives – we want to create an arena in which you can ask for, share, propose, and collaborate. We want to give brand value to your projects so that when a corporate sponsor hears about your project, they immediately think it to be first-class, UVA product. We want to have a grand, Virginia- or even ACC-wide annual research competitions here – imagine the Tri-Wizard Tournament at UVA. The new Presidential Committee would engage this challenging task of channeling the many wonderful student-led groups and projects in order to ensure institutional memory, effective communication with administration, and productive collaboration for years to come.

So stay tuned, this is going to be a grand year. Game on.