The Board of Visitors, a group of Trinity alumni and business leaders that advise the president of the university, is now accepting proposals from students for plans to help improve campus life. The Board typically appears on campus twice a year to offer advice to the president.
“The Board of Visitors is a group of folks that come to campus twice a year to stay updated on what’s happening at Trinity and to provide advice to the president. Many of these alumni have already served in leadership roles on campus, on the Alumni Board, for example, and they come back twice a year to help the president choose how to keep Trinity on track,” said Michael Bacon, vice president for advancement and alumni relations.
This is the first time the Board has opened itself to advise students, and the program could expand in future years.
“They have an interest in getting more engaged, and since they represent a number of different fields, they can serve as an advisory group for students as well. In the future it may expand to include faculty, but for this first year we want to keep it narrow and limit it to students,” Bacon said.
The Board is looking for new ways to work on improving Trinity, and they hope students can provide new ideas.
“These might be things that mean working on something to expand summer internships, for example, or something to work on the university’s relationship with the surrounding community. These are ideas about what could be done, or even what should be done. Individuals would submit these ideas, and we’d quickly review them and give them suggestions. We just want to see a few pages about what should be done and who should do it. We’d like to keep things fairly modest,” said Peter Jennings, former senior vice president at Morgan Stanley and current member of the Board of Visitors.
Students will have the opportunity to present their ideas to the Board, and the Board will help students strategize the implementation of their ideas.
“I’m hoping we’ll have about five to ten proposals, and the idea is that they will be able to come and pitch their ideas to the Board. So they’ll pitch their ideas, and then they can discuss with the Board how to allocate money and resources for the project. They can form a small team with people who have experience in the field and work together either in person or by phone over a period of a couple of weeks. They even have a small budget to work with, so that could prove beneficial to the projects as well. The board will help strategize how to implement the plan, but the actual implementation of the project will be on the part of the student and their organization,” Bacon said.
Noah Boriak, sophomore and business administration major, is looking forward to seeing the student suggestions.
“I’m really interested in seeing what ideas get turned in. I know we all spend plenty of time complaining about stuff on campus that should be fixed, so it’s kind of nice that they’re giving us a way to tell them about it and make some changes,” Boriak said.
The Board hopes that students will provide more insight into the needs of the campus and its community.
“We’d like to identify situations that need to be addressed or, at the very least, learn more about them. We don’t know a great deal about what’s going on on the ground, so we’re hoping that students will be able to fill in that information gap and share with us what they think should change,” Jennings said.
The purpose of this project is for the Board to help students with big ideas make significant changes on campus.
“I hope we see organizational projects and ideas that people have talked about, but haven’t yet figured out how to make them happen. For instance, the alumni office has been talking about creating an alumni travel program, but that hasn’t happened yet. That’s an idea that could be presented, and the Board of Visitors could help strategize how that could be made possible,” Bacon said.
Project proposals are due Oct. 12, and can be submitted through the Board of Visitors page on the Trinity website.