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UC Will Create Alumni Advisory Board

Undergraduate Council leaders plan to create an alumni advisory board during their term in the hopes of eventually acquiring alumni funding for student groups.

UC President Ava Nasrollahzadeh ’16 and UC Vice President Dhruv P. Goyal ’16 said in an interview Wednesday that through the advisory board, they will first focus on fostering relationships between current members of the Council and alumni before ultimately soliciting donations. Securing funds for student groups through alumni donations was a centerpiece of their campaign for UC leadership last fall.

UC Crimson Crossfire
At right, Ava Nasrollahzadeh '16 and Dhruv P. Goyal '16—now Undergraduate Council president and vice president, respectively—discuss platforms with other candidates at a debate in November 2014.

“The moment the board steps on, we can’t demand funding,” Nasrollahzadeh said. “We don’t think that’s a tactical way of going about it, so we’ll first focus on building relationships.”

The board will consist mainly of former, graduated UC representatives, according to project manager and Oak Yard representative Berkeley Brown ’18. The board will first be used to gather advice from alumni about current UC initiatives.

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“Because [the UC is] a student group without a faculty adviser, an advisory board would be of particular use to us as we continue to take on projects that greatly affect the student body,” Brown said.

In addition to soliciting advice and funding, the advisory board will organize Council reunions, write a newsletter, and establish an online directory that both UC representatives and UC alumni can access, according to Brown.

“The alumni advisory board was created with the idea in mind that it’s sometimes good to have an outside perspective,” Nasrollahzadeh said. “Right now, we get our outside perspective from student groups, administrators, or faculty, but its easy to have your opinions clouded from the inside of the College.”

According to Nasrollahzadeh and Goyal, the donations that the advisory board will eventually gather would be for specific UC initiatives as opposed to for general Council funds.

“That’s a more of a concrete argument to make, rather than going to them and asking for a blank check,” Goyal said.

In recent years, securing more funding has become a perennial issue for the Council. Former UC President Gus A. Mayopoulos ’15 and former UC Vice President Sietse K. Goffard ’15 launched an ultimately unsuccessful campaign last spring semester to obtain $250,000 in additional funding from administrators. Months later, in November, Nasrollahzadeh and Goyal ran for UC leadership on a campaign platform that proposed that the Council acquire funding for student groups by soliciting alumni donations.

Nasrollahzadeh and Goyal will be meeting with University President Drew G. Faust on Thursday afternoon.

—Staff writer Jalin P. Cunningham can be reached at jalin.cunningham@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @JalinCunningham.

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