UC Creates First Annual Report

UPDATED: February 13, 2012, at 4:47 p.m.

The Undergraduate Council released its first Annual Report to the College Monday to inform students of the UC’s activities over the past year.

The report details the Council’s successful campaigns for increased shuttle service from the Quad in the mornings and during holidays and more access to gender-neutral bathrooms, the deals and discounts in Harvard Square offered by the UC Restaurants program, and the creation of the Freshman Class Committee.

“The report was a chance for us to look back at the past year and think about what we’ve done,” said UC Secretary Michael C. George ’14, who is also a Crimson news editor.

George worked with former UC President Senan Ebrahim ’12 to compile the report, which representatives voted unanimously to create in November.

“We tried to create a balance in this annual report,” George said. “We wanted a level of detail that would allow UC members to refer to it for future projects, but we also wanted a user-friendly format that would allow students to skim through it quickly.”

In addition to serving as a means of communication to current students and administrators, the report will help enhance the UC’s institutional memory, representatives said.

“The UC goes back more than thirty years, and it’s so important for us to know what past councils have done,” said Seth Riddley ’12, a Mather representative who was just appointed as the UC’s first historian. “The creation of an annual report will give future UC representatives better capacity to see things that have worked or haven’t worked in the past.”

Modeled on Princeton University’s 2010 Undergraduate Student Government Report, the UC’s 20-page document summarizes the work of its six committees over the course of the year.

“We asked Princeton student council representatives for tips on how to compile the report and how much should be written,” said Quincy representative Jen Q. Zhu ’14, who is also a Crimson photo editor. “It really helped us streamline the process and find the best practices to get this report together.”

UC representatives said they also looked to the Yale College Council for inspiration. That body recently launched a website asking “What has the YCC done this year?” to document its achievements on an online platform.

UC Vice President Pratyusha Yalamanchi ’13 said that the UC plans to create a similar website.

“We know that Harvard students are busy,” Yalamanchi said. “The website update is a quick, entertaining feature that will hopefully engage those who don’t have the time or interest to read our full annual report.”

—Staff writer Michelle Denise L. Ferreol can be reached at mferreol@college.harvard.edu.

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