Action-Packed Year Ahead for the SA

Welcome to the Class of 2003 and welcome back to the Class of 2002! As we get ready to begin another exciting year at HBS, we’d like to take a couple minutes to give you an update on the Student Association (SA) and what we hope to accomplish for you this year.

What the heck is the SA, anyway?
We realized the SA had an identity crisis during our campaigns last spring. The first thing almost everyone asked was, “Does the SA do anything other than online polls?!” It turns out that many HBS students (both RC and EC) don’t know what the SA is, so we’ll try to explain it in 250 words or less.

The SA was established “in order to actively enrich and broaden the experience of the student community at HBS, both in and out of the classroom.” Every MBA student is a member of the SA and each of us pays an SA fee with our first year tuition bill. Virtually all SA officers are elected by individual sections (e.g., Section Presidents, Senators, and Education Representatives) or by the entire student body (e.g., SA Co-Presidents, Social Chairs).

The SA enhances each student’s experiences by promoting camaraderie via orientation, athletic, social, and Class Day activities; by representing student views and concerns to the faculty and administration; and by enhancing communication among the administration, faculty, and student body. Various committees of the SA are also involved with developing guidelines for clubs, recommending changes to academic and technology offerings, and providing representatives for Community Standards hearings. In addition, SA Ventures manages most student concessions, to include section fleeces, section photographs, the Prospectus, HBS dry cleaners, club t-shirts, and stationery. The profits from this subsidiary are reinvested in other student activities, such as the TGIFs parties and Class Day.

Altogether, the SA is made up of four student body officers (a president and a CFO, historically from each cohort), over 160 section officers (15 from each section), 15 or so committees, a Senate (comprising all the Section Senators, as well as chairs of certain committees), and a student-managed business. So now you know.

We’re working on issues that matter to you
Last spring the SA continued the tradition of the Student Issues Poll, to focus the activities of the SA and the administration on the issues that matter most to you. Over 92 percent of the Class of 2002 participated in the poll. Shortly thereafter, the SA Senate adopted a set of high priority initiatives for this year-the SA Agenda-based on the results of the poll. Following are just a few examples of the 20 or so initiatives we will focus on this year:

 Implement a new add/drop system that better optimizes the ability of students to meet their academic and personal goals
 Create an easy-to-use online calendar that includes all major academic, club, conference, Trek, and social events
 Provide more online information and support around housing options, including different costs
 Improve access to healthcare appointments
 Expand access to one-on-one counseling services and counselors with specialized industry knowledge
 Expand efforts to increase interaction between RC and EC students
 Develop a simple online tool for scheduling Spangler conference rooms, including arrangements for conference phones.
 Provide more career services resources to support international job searches for all students seeking jobs outside the U.S.
 Develop a new webmail interface with improved functionality
 Provide more opportunities to get to know professors

We need your advice and opinion
We will be giving you our very best efforts this year as we work to implement those initiatives ranked as high priorities in last spring’s Student Issues Poll, and as we address other issues raised by RC or EC students during the year. We hope you will help us to serve you better by continuing to provide us with your advice and opinion, as well as your support. Be on the lookout for details on how to get involved in the next couple weeks. We are looking forward to a great year!