News, On Campus, Featured Story

UGBC Hosts First Student Resource Fair

An opportunity for students to interact with the various resource offices on campus came Wednesday in the form of the Student Resource Fair. Taking place in the Heights Room, the event featuring a lineup of tables manned by various resource officers around campus.

Roughly 16 tables stood in the room, which were occupied by numerous different offices, from the Boston College Police Department to the Connors Family Learning Center—Boston College Emergency Medical Services to the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs.

The effort originated as a result of an independent initiative first passed as an Undergraduate Government of Boston College resolution—the initiative is being run in conjunction with the Office of Student Involvement and various other resource offices.

John Gehman, chair of the Intersections Committee for UGBC and MCAS ’21, headed the initiative. He spoke to the necessity of holding such an event for students who may not know that so many resources for them even exist.

“[These resources] mean a lot to the students, whether they know it or not,” Gehman said. “We’re paying $74,000 to go here. So I feel that it’s in students’ rights to know what resources that they have, which is being paid for by their tuition.”

These offices want to be able to connect with students one-on-one, according to Gehman. So often are the people within them tied up in the office doing logistical work, he said, that they lack a chance to reach out to students individually. The Student Resource Fair sought to bridge this gap by allowing resource officers to meet the students for whom they always work, but don’t necessarily engage with, according to Gehman.

This sentiment was mirrored by Anna Vargas, assistant director of advising operations in the Academic Advising Center, who worked the center’s table at the fair.

“We just had a couple of students stop by and say that they didn’t even know where our office was,” she said. “So, now they do, and now they know what services we provide, and they seemed interested so they took cards and we’re going to make appointments. So I think just getting our name out there is important.”

An area for improvement that Gehman identified was getting more offices involved, though a few offices had to drop out of this iteration of the fair due to a schedule change. He hopes that if a central office is able to take hold of the initiative, that could create a greater institutional impact.

This could also allow the Student Resource Fair to take place in the fall, like the Student Involvement Fair, rather than in the springtime. Gehman said that, while “better late than never,” it is imperative that students are informed regarding the resources at their disposal as they start their year.

Gehman also said that events like this could contribute to the overall effort that UGBC plans to make in contributing to its overall effort to close the gap between the administration, UGBC, and the students.

“I think that even though this only is a start to it, I think it’s important to note that this is a part of some larger picture that we’ll try to achieve,” he said.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor

February 25, 2019