Theme #2 Report
Theme #2: We will strengthen our partnership with the institute.
The efforts of Theme 2 team focused on reviewing the relationship between the FSILG community and MIT. The aim of this work centered on codifying existing policies, integrating into the institutional housing system, improving faculty relationships and settling the Resident Advisor situation.
Theme #2 Initiatives:
- Initiative #2.1: Articulate the autonomy of the FSILGs at MIT and their interdependence with MIT
- Initiative #2.2: Ensure that the FSILGs are integrated into the MIT campus housing plan
- Initiative #2.3: Build stronger faculty and staff relationships
- Initiative #2.4: Clarify the Resident Advisor (RA) program
What has been accomplished: Heading into the planning process, there was much discussion over the positioning of Resident Advisors at MIT. Their status, recognition and pay scale required some examination by Theme 2 team members. Working alongside the FSILG Office, there was agreement that RAs would be officially recognized as MIT employees. The position has been codified as the Graduate Resident Assistant position will be managed by MIT beginning in the fall of 2014.
Also, Theme 2 spent significant time on developing the MIT-FSILG Relationship Agreement, which surveyed students, alumni and the institute on expectations set forth for each other by one another. Nearly twenty bullet points were outlined for each party for maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with the other two groups. The process is complete and document available for reference.
What was dropped: To encourage more recognition and understanding of the FSILG system, the faculty-student relationship needed further development and structure. As a result, Theme 2 strategized a plan to encourage students’ connection with faculty and involve them in the FSILG community. A proposed “faculty involvement award” was proposed to recognize those who contributed to the FSILG chapters; however, upon further inspection, the team realized this award already exists at the institute, and thus this initiative was eradicated from the strategic plan.
What work is continuing on: The Odyssey computer system tracks all students’ personal data to provide a comprehensive pool of information for the institute. Formerly, FSILG members were not included in this database, and thus the Theme 2 team partnered with the FSILG office to not only update the system to be inclusive of all students, but to maintain the process of collecting information on a continuous basis. The team also encouraged the FSILG student chapters to act cooperatively with MIT in gathering information about members so that all would be included in the Odyssey files.
In response to the Relationship Agreement, MIT is further examining what defines Approved Institute Housing.
What emerging needs were identified: The Relationship Agreement was monitored in accordance with both the alumni and students to ensure their duties were upheld according to the Theme 2 outline; however, an emerging need is to guarantee that MIT, the Division of Student Life and FSILG Office fulfill their responsibilities as well. We recommend that DSL and the AILG form a FSILG review committee that assesses the implementation of the Relationship Agreement in bi-annually.