The Undergraduate Council has created its first-ever alumni advisory board.
According to UC Vice President Dhruv P. Goyal ’16, the alumni board “is tasked with keeping UC alumni informed and engaged … with current UC projects, initiatives, and developments.”
The current and primary focus of the Council’s alumni board is to foster relationships between College alumni and current UC representatives, said Lowell House representative Berkeley Brown ’18, who spearheaded the initiative. The board contains a “diverse group” of alumni from a variety of class years and academic disciplines, according to Brown.
While Goyal said the board’s purpose will be to utilize Harvard’s vast alumni network to develop strong, mentorship-like relationships between current and previous UC representatives, he added that the Council has not ruled out using the alumni council to seek donations from alumni in the future.
Securing additional sources of funding, particularly for student groups, was a priority on the Council among previous leadership. Former UC leaders Gus A. Mayopoulos ’15 and Sietse K. Goffard ’15 embarked on an unsuccessful campaign, dubbed the “UC 250K,” in 2014 to seek $250,000 in additional funding from Harvard’s top administrators.
A key campaign platform point of Goyal and UC President Ava Nasrollahzadeh last November, meanwhile, was securing alumni funding to support student groups.
When conceptualizing the board, Brown said she intended it to act in an advisory capacity with the Council, given that the UC is a student group without a faculty adviser. In the past, the UC has operated efficiently without a faculty adviser, but Nasrollahzadeh has cited a limited pool of opinions from outside of the Council as a driving factor behind the creation of this board.
According to Brown, the Council solicited participants in the alumni group through contacts from the Harvard Alumni Association. Current UC representatives sent out applications to UC-affiliated alumni and then chose potential candidates for the advisory board from submitted applications.
Part of the responsibility that comes alongside creating the advisory board includes the publication of a semi-annual alumni newsletter in order to brief alumni on goings-on within the Council, Brown said.
—Staff writer Jalin P. Cunningham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @JalinCunningham.