Five Easy Ways To Improve Library School

Spending the
afternoon at the Grad Club yesterday with a bunch of first-term
students got me thinking about what my first week here was like, what
my
first semester was like and ways that both could've been better. 

1. Have a “Destressor” at the end of the first week of classes
This way, each semester's new students can get to know people in other
terms immediately.  (The lack of connection between different
terms was a major issue for a lot of people in my cohort.)  A
first-week Destressor would also nicely bookend with the one Student
Council holds at the end of semester.  Student Council does have a
pizza party for new students early in term but this only introduces
new students to members of student council, who, although they are all
nice people, don't represent even 10% of the students in the
department.  It also is a bit of a contrived situation (or it was
last semester) with the Student Council lined up in front of the room
but not really interacting with the first-termers and instead, although
I'm sure this wasn't their intention, it was like a line was
symbolically drawn right off the bat. 

2. Have a students-only message board
This would mean that information can be exchanged easily and
past topics of conversation are accessible to all.  I know the
Student Council is working to set-up a Sharepoint site but
unfortunately, it will be under the umbrella of the Department and
housed on their intranet site therefore making it inaccessible to
incoming students (until they get their user name and password) and
graduating students six months after they leave the program.  To
my mind, a much better solution would be a more public forum (although still limited to potential students or alumni) where
anyone interested in the program can join and find out about the
current events, issues and people who are here.

3. Have a Repository For Student Writing
A few of us are working to start a journal for student writing but we
want it to have a focus on the “best of the best” student
writing.  But there's also a lot of work being done just below
this level that would be of benefit for others to see.  It seems
like a
shame that once an assignment is graded and handed back, these papers
go in a
drawer having been seen by only two sets of eyes – the student's and
the professor's. 

4. Run Relevant Student Programs
A lot of the things I've done or
been involved in – the Lunch Bucket Speaker Series, the Freedom to Read
Event, the Student Journal, Quinn's Movie Series, etc. –
are the types of things I expected the Student Council to be doing when
I got here.  Not to be too disparaing but things like bake sales, candy-grams and semi-formals seem
more like the work of a high school student council then the work that
should be done by the student council in a Graduate Program. 

5. Make Better Use of Technology
That was basically my entire last post
so I won't rehash but it covers everything from the types of technology
we have (or don't have) access to to having all lecture notes online to
teaching students about cutting-edge technology in their first term and
not letting them avoid it by not taking technology courses after
505. 

6. Release Class Lists Two Semesters In Advance
Okay, that last suggestion was pretty basic so here's an extra one.  As far as I know, the Department knows what courses they're tentatively offering up to a year in advance.  So why do they only release the courses for the upcoming semester and at that, only late in term?  For myself, it would've been very helpful to know what was being offered in Fall 2006 as I was selected my Summer 2006 courses as I could've been a lot more strategic in which courses I picked.  I know the Department is worried that students will get their hopes set on a class than it will be cancelled or whatever but isn't that what the words “tentative course list” mean? 

To be fair, here are five things that are really good about this program:
1. The Peer Mentorship program
was awesome for me (although this really
depends – some people had horrible or literally no experiences out of
it.  Trying to match people based on background, area of interest
or even geographic location rather than random assignment would improve
things)
2. The Professional Mentorship program is also very useful.
3. Someone told me that Western offers a lot more electives than most
other LIS programs.  I haven't done the comparison so don't know
for sure but if true, that's very helpful.  (Maybe I'll do an
independent study next semester comparing different aspects of the
various LIS programs across Canada.  I think that would be really
interesting!)
4. Some people don't like the fact that FIMS has three intakes of
students per year
(again, does anywhere else do this or are they all
September starts?) but I really like how it keeps things moving and
fresh.
5. Although I'm not planning to take advantage of it myself, the Co-op program
can be really useful, especially for anyone who doesn't have previous
library experience.

Comments 7

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Caveat: All of my comments below are my own opinion, and I don't claim to represent anyone or anything else (unless otherwise specified).
    1. I think that some sort of gathering near the beginning of the semestre is a good idea. A mixer rather than a destressor. So do some other council members. It was also thought that it would be nice for new and returning students to get off campus a bit now that the downtown bars have emptied of undergrads. That's why we sent out an invitation to an informal gathering at the Ceeps for Friday.
    Someone trumped it (as a reply to the initial invitation, to boot, making it look like the Council was endorsing the earlier party) and the council-organized party was more diffuse than expected because a lot of people had their fill of drink by the 5:00 start time.
    C'est la vie. Hopefully no one undermines the pub crawl that is in the planning stages for mid-ish semestre.
    2. A student's only message board would be a fine idea. That's SOGS department, go poke them and maybe volunteer (or shang-hai a volunteer) to administer it and it might happen. I suspect that they won't be keen on letting people use their resources until they are officially members, and would be loathe to commit to something long-term without some tangible, if not overwhelming measure of support. I've been wrong before, though.
    3. Student writing? My guess is that the numerous PhDs, Lawyers and other artists and professionals who are in the program aren't really desperate to get published, but there's probably a few good pieces per semestre. Mostly we would be writing for each other in an in-house rag (and I use that term with affection), so the motivation to re-write and polish a paper for publication probably wouldn't be too high.
    If I've misunderstood your intentions and you have a more national (or international) target in mind, then that would be more interesting. Knock on CLA's door for funding, a Junior Feliciter (hehehe) might fit their marketing strategy.
    4. “Not to be too disparaing but things like bake sales, candy-grams and semi-formals seem more like the work of a high school student council then the work that should be done by the student council in a Graduate Program.”
    Well, debate as to how disparaging that *really* is aside… The bake sales and candy grams are fundraising events that are used to fund the destressor and first term pizza party (you want more of those, no?) and the semi-formal was organized and sponsored by the CLA student chapter. You might as well complain about Librarians Without Borders holding bake sales or selling tee-shirts to raise funds for their mandate.
    This isn't the forum for listing all of the things that student council does accomplish in a semestre, but if it isn't clear to everyone then that's a very serious problem that the council will have to address.
    The other events you listed are all fine undertakings. Generally they have been organized without the Council's help, and bringing in the Student Council, CLA or SOGS would probably add a layer of burocracy and politics that would just hinder the process. Everyone has their role in this comunity and sometimes things work best when everyone stays out of everyone else's way.
    5. “[…] cutting-edge technology in their first term and not letting them avoid it by not taking technology courses after 505.”
    On the other hand, some students would, and do, argue that the program is very technology heavy for those who aspire to be Children's Librarians, School Librarians, Cataloguers, Collections Librarians or Research Consultants. You can't please everyone.
    Having worked in various special libraries — from the National Library to a small Can-Studies information centre — since 1996, I have observed the workings of quite a few information organizations. I can honestly say that to the best of my knowledge the Systems Librarian (in larger libraries of all kinds) or the IT department in smaller corporate libraries holds most of the influence, power and responsibility for assessing and selecting software, as well as training staff and patrons.
    This program affords opportunities to become a systems librarian if that is your chosen career path but that isn't where the bulk of the work is right now. Sure it tends to pay more when you do get one of those jobs but not everyone is in it entirely for the money. And besides, in many cases, you would be better off getting a degree in programming or a diploma in web-design if you really want to design databases or web-sites. Librarianship is different than that.
    I'm not advocating fewer technology based courses. But too many more would undermine the unique skills and values that are part of the historical legacy of librarianship, and probably won't get more graduates their dream jobs either.
    6. Well, I don't have any specific insight into this issue. Well, except that I've never been in a job where I new exactly what I was going to be doing 9 months in advance unless it was very routine work.
    Anyways, it's always more fun to respond to the rants than the raves. I'll tell Ryan you liked the peer mentorship program he helped get off the ground (through his involvement in CLA). You were in the first cohort to have that service, I'm sure that it will only improve as time grants wisdom and resources (i.e. CLA volunteers) increase.
    Cheers mate.
    Mike

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 1:37 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Hey Mike,
    First off, thanks very much for your well-thought out comments. They are much appreciated. Let's see if I can clarify a few of my points…
    1. Start of Term Destressor/Mixer
    Not sure if I know what the difference is between the two – I guess a Destressor has some food provided? Anyhow, I am responsible for the conflicting mixers that were scheduled for the first Friday. On Monday May 8, I took the initiative to send an invite to the 504 mailing list (the first term class that's held on Friday) inviting them to join the usual crew of second termers who met regularly at the Grad Club on Friday afternoon all through last semester. I did this because Student Council hadn't done anything similar for us and as I say in my blog post, it set a tone for a lot of us, intentional or not, that there was a division between cohorts.
    I heard later this week (Wednesday?) that Student Council was planning something for Friday afternoon. I asked a couple members of student council for more details but didn't really hear anything definite until I saw Jay's e-mail on Thursday. I was also a bit surprised Ceeps was the pick. I know the Grad Club is a rut for some people but to me, if you're trying to welcome first-timers, I would suggest that picking the Grad Club, at least for the first mixer, is a good idea. This is the most convenient location, it helps them feel part of the wider University community, it has a patio that's less likely to be packed on a Friday afternoon compared to Ceeps, etc. We have a whole summer to try other venues once we get to know each other a bit. Even at that, C(r)eeps doesn't have the best reputation and I was surprised that a venue wasn't picked that might have more appeal to Grad students – Alex P. Keaton's or some place like that with more than two types of beer on tap and a more “adult” vibe?
    2. Student Message Board
    Actually, I fully meant this as something that the Student Council in our department could (and should) take on, not SOGS, which as you say complicates matters greatly and which would likely take the focus from the issues and events that are relevant only to our program. I'm curious why you see this as SOGS department rather than Student Council's?
    3. Student Journal
    Well, even within the people involved with this idea of a journal of student writing, we've got a mixture of ideas of what we want it to be. I'm more in the camp of it being a repository of any student writing with perhaps some of the better works highlighted in some fashion. I'd also like to see it as a national repository but that's not feasible, at least initially either. Mainly, I just think it's a shame that so much good work only gets seen by two people (the student and the prof) and once the assignment is handed back, it goes in a drawer. I can't count the number of times last semester when I was talking to someone and they said “I wrote on Google Scholar/The Meaning of “Profession”/History of LPL/Whatever” and asked them to send me their paper. Another benefit of a repository like this would be that incoming students would get a taste of what topics are being covered and what some of the better work being done looks like.
    4. Student Council's Role/Fundraising
    Yeah, that was kind of disparaing wasn't it? I apologize if you were offended. Still, I do think that Student Council is missing the boat in term of fundraising efforts – do you know how much they made from candy-grams? I heard $7. The bake sale? Maybe a similar amount. You hit on one answer yourself in your comments – compare it with what LWB makes off merchandise sales. Why can't I buy a UWO MLIS t-shirt for $20 that nets the Student Council $10-15? Or binders? Or water bottles (I know this was done once.) Or pens. I do want funding for programs as you say but I want *enough* funding that the Student Council can afford more than a few cheese and veggie platters at the Destressor or so that their work to return ratio makes it worthwhile. One idea I came up with as I mulled over your comments – we already pay thousands each semester to be here so why not institute some sort of a Student Council fee? Even $10 or $20 per student would mean $400-800 per semester ($800-1600 from the Fall intake) and suddenly, Student Council has a budget of $1600-3200 per year to play with without a single candy or cookie to be seen. Now, they can afford to have hot food at the Destressor. An independent web server outside the Department's infrastructure. More student awards, all with cash prizes. A free drink ticket for students who attend the Destressor. Charter a bus to CLA instead of people paying their own way. The sky's the limit when you have a decent budget instead of dealing with time-intensive projects that don't provide a great return.
    5. Technology Requirements in the Program
    I have to disagree with you. Outside of basic literacy skills, I would argue that computer literacy skills are the second most important thing that every librarian – no matter where they work – should possess. In fact, it could be argued that two of the examples you cite – children's librarians and school librarians – need the *most* computer skills because of their close proximity to kids. I'm just completing an assignment for 525 about the use of blogs in libraries and what I've found is that where public libraries are using blogs (not very many), it's usually to try to connect to teen-aged patrons.
    6. Release Class Lists Early
    Well, I'm 100% certain the Department has a rough idea what courses will be offered at least two semesters in advance if not a full year. And for many students, I suspect that having this information would really help plan their schedules better. We only have nine electives in this entire program so I think people want to use them as wisely as possible without ending up in irrelevant or redundant classes.
    I also want to touch on one other thing. You didn't throw it at me but one comment I've gotten from people when I do complain about these things is “If you want to change things, why not join Student Council/CLA/SOGS/etc.?” There are a couple reasons for this – this year is the first time in ten years that I haven't been on multiple committees – some I wanted to be on, some I didn't but had to because of work obligations. So I'm just enjoying being able to have an idea – “let''s have a Freedom to Read Week event” – and making it happen without having to wait for my committee to meet, get approval from other people, work out details, sign waiver forms, analyze all the options, etc. (I'm being a bit facetious but I have heard horror stories – a former boss tells of one of her committees spending an hour arguing which letterhead design they wanted for their committee and only ten minutes discussing what would go into the body of the letter they were writing!)
    Do committees work? They can. But often they don't – they have political issues, time issues, commitment issues. There are quiet people who feel slighted when they don't get heard, domineering people who control the agenda and make others resentful, people who join only to get another tick mark on their resume and don't contribute anything.
    The book “The Wisdom of Crowds” has a section on why small committees don't work. Here's a podcast with some more explanation (not sure if the HTML will work – Wisdom of Crowds Author Podcast from SXSW
    Here's the link to cut & paste in plain text in case that didn't work:
    http://start-up20.blogspot.com/2006/03/wisdom-of-crowds-sxsw-podcast.html
    I sincerely appreciated your comments and hope we can continue this discussion. (Too bad there isn't a student council board for us to do this! )
    Jason

    Posted 16 May 2006 at 9:43 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Hey, I might have to cut this short. I have a ton of work to do before I leave town for the weekend.
    “I did this because Student Council hadn't done anything similar for us and as I say in my blog post, it set a tone for a lot of us, intentional or not, that there was a division between cohorts.”
    Was it suggested to council? Did anyone have a chance to tell you that “No we aren't doing that” before you assumed that we weren't? I mean, I could drive myself crazy trying to have more good ideas than the 150 other students in the program.
    BTW personally, I think that the traditional division between cohorts is a double edged sword. You definitely have this small nagging sense of being in grade 9 again and being disconnected from the more experienced students. On the other hand, you really get to know your cohort and make some very close friends and a fondness for acquaintances based on a shared experience while feeling isolated as a group.
    “I was also a bit surprised Ceeps was the pick. I know the Grad Club is a rut for some people but to me, if you're trying to welcome first-timers, I would suggest that picking the Grad Club, at least for the first mixer, is a good idea.”
    I didn't organize it, but my understanding was that the organizers thought that it would be nice to get people (not just first termers) off campus for a bit. The Ceeps seemed like an odd choice to me too, but if it wasn't pouring rain and cold it would have been great. Apparently once the undergrads leave town for the summer Richmond becomes rather civilised.
    Anyways, I didn't organize either event so I'm in no position to complain about either. It would be nice if there were better communication between all of the people who are kindly organizing things, though. I was only invited to one of the parties. 🙁
    “I fully meant this as something that the Student Council in our department could (and should) take on, not SOGS, which as you say complicates matters greatly”
    Apparently the complications within Student Council are even greater. We are pretty limited as to what the IT department will let us do (get used to it, the IT dept. always calls the shots on these matters in any organization), and the policies seem pretty clear that prospective students are under SOGS jurisdiction, not FIMS. If the council went outlaw on this one it could mean a serious funding cut at best or a gutting of the entire council at worst — that's assuming that the IT department would even set up the permissions in the first place.
    Render unto SoGS that which is SoGS.
    “I apologize if you were offended.”
    I've been married for 8 years, I have a thick skin. No worries.
    (Er, hi Cate, didn't see you standing there. Ulp.)
    “I do want funding for programs as you say but I want *enough* funding that the Student Council can afford more than a few cheese and veggie platters at the Destressor or so that their work to return ratio makes it worthwhile”
    As one of the council members who has to sit at the table selling junk, I think that my desire for a decent work:return ratio is higher than yours. 😉
    Trixie suggested Tee-Shirts already and I'm sure that the fundraiser has even more ideas. I think that Christina is Fundraiser this semestre so talk to her directly and find out what she has planned and make your suggestions (and volunteer your time, if possible).
    As for an additional mandatory student fee? It's possible, I think. But given the protests against rising tuition fees recently, the timing might be poor. I would never want a good idea to be killed by bad timing. As to all of your suggestions, they sound reasonable but I don't have the time today to spend money I don't have so my appologies for not adding to the list.
    “I'm just completing an assignment for 525 about the use of blogs in libraries and what I've found is that where public libraries are using blogs (not very many), it's usually to try to connect to teen-aged patrons.”
    Fair enough, I'd like to see the indicators of the effectiveness of those blogs. They're hot now, so they are probably at least a decent marketing tool.
    But but my point is that I would bet money that the IT department or systems librarian is doing the heavy lifting of getting the blogs up and running and training the YA librarians to use them. One responsibility of systems librarians is is to identify possible uses for new technology and to make the appropriate managers aware of possibilities.
    There's no reason why a children's librarian couldn't make suggestions about IT, and I would argue that would be great team work. You can be a great Children's or YA librarian without taking 1/3 of your electives in technology studies because you have the Systems Lib and IT Dept doing what they do best as well.
    Something that we all have to come to terms with (and my wife is coming to terms with when planning her Master's of Engineering program, so it isn't unique to our department or program) is that we won't learn everything we want to learn in our short time here. Most of our professional knowledge will be learned on the job.
    I would argue that there are more opportunities to take courses on blogs or RSS feeds or whatever the hot new software is at the time once your are out working than there are to take collections development, cataloguing or reference courses.
    That being said, I've devoted over 1/3 of my electives to tech courses because I dig that stuff. The profession is extremely diverse and there's room for a lot of different focuses (foci, for the language police) and interests.
    “I'm 100% certain the Department has a rough idea what courses will be offered at least two semesters in advance if not a full year. And for many students, I suspect that having this information would really help plan their schedules better.”
    In most cases yes. I would hate to be the student who put off taking a strongly desired course in semestre 2 because it was on the list for S3 only to have it disappear right after the add-drop date. A friend of mine was almost screwed out of finishing his honours degree on time because of just this sort of thing. The further ahead you project the less likely the projections will be accurate. People who are taking four semestres split by a coop are rather likely to be disappointed — and to rightly blame the adminstration for misleading them.
    I think that it is rarely a bad policy (personally or professionally) to say “I can't tell you until I know for sure”.
    “Do committees work? They can. But often they don't – they have political issues, time issues, commitment issues.”
    Yep those are all problems. That's why I think that it is often better for private individuals to organize movie nights and such. Then again, no one decided to organize anything like that in my first semestre, so I can't honestly say that non-committee work is foolproof.
    But SOGS doesn't want to disperse money directly to students, and they want some accountability for the money they disperse to different departments — so the council fulfills that role and tries to supplement it. It has its place.
    This council doesn't really work like most committees, though. Each member has her or his own responsibilities and the group as a whole exists to make these individuals accountable. We could just have an Academic Ombudsperson, for example, but to whom would that position be accountable? It would have to be arms-length from the administration while still having some reporting mechanism. If it were just another adjunct to the Assistant Dean, why not just make it a responsibility of one of the admin assistants in the office? The council provides that arms length positioning and oversight.
    The Chair, Secretary, Communications Officer and Treasurer are the main implements of accountability. The Academic Rep and SoGS Rep perform specific accountability functions in the other direction (trying to make the Department and SoGS accountable to us). The Fundraiser and Social Reps do their thing. The First Term rep provides a bit of continuity between semestres — she's a member of the department's Program Committee, among other things.
    All that is to say that there seems to be less wrangling for position in this group than in other committees where there might just be a chair, a secretary and 6 members at large.
    Cheers
    Mike

    Posted 17 May 2006 at 9:07 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Man, we are both windbags!!
    Cheers
    Mike

    Posted 17 May 2006 at 9:08 pm
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    More long-windedness as I respond haphazardly to your points…
    Mixer
    I didn't suggest a first-week mixer to student council because, as I said, it hadn't been done for our term and I had no reason to believe they would plan something this semester either. Plus I know that if I take the idea of a mixer to student council, maybe I have to wait for your next meeting for it to be debated. And maybe some want to go off-campus and some want to stay on campus. And then there's a debate about if you should buy some food as a good will gesture or whatever. And maybe after all that, the idea gets shot down completely and it's too late to do anything after all.
    (I had a great idea when I was at the Writers Guild of Alberta to do a fundraising book of original essays by our members for Alberta's Centennial. My board ended up turning the idea into a fundraising cookbook project “because that's what the symphony did” and then dropping it completely. Again, this was the *Writers* Guild of Alberta with people like Will Ferguson, Fred Stenson, Aritha Van Herk and some other pretty big names as possible contributors we knew that 2005 would be a year when people were buying ANYTHING that said Centennial on it, we had a publisher willing to take all the financial risks and we even had some writers interested already.)
    So anyhow, I've seen over and over how it's easier to just say as an individual, I'm going to do this. In this case, “I think I'll extend an invitation to the first-termers to join our regular Friday gathering”.
    Division Between Cohorts
    As for the division between the cohorts, I don't think it has to be an either/or proposition. Our cohort is extremely tight and gelled very well, perhaps partly because we weren't “diluted” by mixing with other cohorts much. But personally, I think there's more than enough time to do both – if you choose to do so. I spent a lot of time doing social activities with my own cohort but I also spent a lot of time getting to know people in other cohorts as well. That's just the kind of person I am though. For those who are more introverted or those who feel their time's at more of a premium, a mixer that's organized by the Student Council early in term would be very helpful in allowing people to get to know each other, at least to nod “hello” in the hallways.
    What do you mean you were only invited to one of the parties??? You said yourself that there was a second e-mail invite piggy-backing on Jay's initial invite! So I'm pretty sure you were invited to both.
    On that point, not to pull Jay into this but the phrasing of his invite was a bit vague in my opinion “A few of us are getting together for drinks – everybody's welcome” is pretty casual and doesn't target the first-termers specifically. Even as someone who's pretty outgoing, if I was a first-termer, I'd wonder if this was meant for me. Am I “everyone” yet when I've just finished my first week of school? Or will there be anyone I know there or will everybody know each other and I'll just feel out of place? I don't know – maybe a targetted invite went to just the first-termers for the Student Council thing as well?
    I know one did for our “unofficial” gathering which is perhaps why we had a better turnout. Or because we stayed on campus and had it right after their class was over. Or because our invite went to them almost a week before the Student Council one did so they had time to plan to attend? Or a combination of this and other factors. I'm not saying it's a competition nor would I want it to be but if Student Council is angry at all because their event didn't go off well, there's a lot of factors to consider as to why that happened – not just because somebody else “undermined” them.
    Fundraising
    Christina lives on my floor now so I've got ready access to her for fundraising ideas and have already done so once. And as much as I'm poo-pooing committee work, I will put my butt in a seat and volunteer if it's something I support (ie. I'll sell t-shirts but I probably won't stuff candy-gram bags. That's a good job for the Academic Rep I think!
    )
    Student Council Fee
    I know money's always a concern but $10 or $20 for a year of student council fees is a very small price to pay for what that money could generate in terms of new initiatives and programming. I'd forego a couple or three pints or one new CD or a meal out to pay this very reasonable fee for instance.
    Okay, that's enough wind-baggery for today. As I sit here typing this instead of doing homework, I know you're probably at the Biodome with your kids – a much healthier proposition!

    Posted 21 May 2006 at 6:55 pm
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    “I'm not saying it's a competition nor would I want it to be but if Student Council is angry at all because their event didn't go off well, there's a lot of factors to consider as to why that happened – not just because somebody else “undermined” them.”
    I agree that this isn't a competition. I want to make it clear that I am not debating out of anger (as some have inferred, I gather) but out of an honest desire to make things work better in the future. We could probably hash this out over beers, but I've been exceptionally busy so far this semstre.
    I agree that there were other factors that undermined the success of the Council organized event. But if you had told us — and I didn't get an email regarding this event until Sabina's response to Jay's email, a day or two before the event — we would have taken that into account.
    The process was actually quite fast at the meeting. Someone suggested an informal, but Council sponsored, get-together for all cohorts (hence the general wording, but a special call out to first termers would have been even better). The persons who suggested it also suggested the details and volunteered to promote it (in the limited time available) and then we moved on to the next agenda item. Like I said before, this seems to be a pretty good group.
    If we had known that there was another party planned, we would have just gone to your party and mingled as usual. Generally, I think that communication is the key to any successful event (as long as you define success realistically, of course).
    “I spent a lot of time doing social activities with my own cohort but I also spent a lot of time getting to know people in other cohorts as well. That's just the kind of person I am though.”
    Me too. I tend to walk across the smoking section and introduce myself rather freely. Perhaps council should try to collect some data on whether or not people really care if they meet people from other cohorts sooner rather than later in their program. It might give us a sense of where priorities should be. After all, not ever cohort has people who take on organizing mixers on their own so if it is a definite need then we should encourage future councils to ensure that it happens — and the planning should be undertaken at the end of the previous semestre.
    My situation was a bit different than yours because we had a huge cohort split into two sections. It was a few weeks before I met many people from the other section in my cohort. That was with a room-mate in the other section. Even an early first semstre mixer would have been interesting — if not helpful. Anyone who is thinking about joining council or planning events for September should keep that in mind as well.
    Catch up with you later.
    Cheers

    Posted 23 May 2006 at 4:32 pm
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    I knew you weren't arguing out of anger and again, I'm enjoying this discussion immensely (I regret not telling you so in person last Friday when we spoke briefly. I had it in my head that this was an internet-only discussion and yes, I've got some weird ideas sometimes! )
    I don't know who's inferring that you are speaking out of anger but someone pointed me to a link that shows our “raging” discussion has attracted a bit of an audience: http://community.livejournal.com/uwo_mlis/11580.html
    That's a good point about the Council doing some research to see what students want – do they even want mixers or do they care? Tomorrow's session will provide some guidance hopefully.
    One of my best qualities (which can also be one of my worst) is that I'm just likely to go “what would I want to see?” and then go do it without consideration that other people might not agree with what I think are good ideas or that people might have other plans brewing.
    Oh well. Maybe you're right – we should hash this out over beers sometime. I do my best work at the Grad Club!

    Posted 23 May 2006 at 11:57 pm

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