15 Medill students selected to provide input on several faculty committees

Becky Bowman

Medill sophomore Katherine White says the Medill Placement Office isn’t helping her get an internship, but starting today she’ll be able to do something about it.

White will meet today with members of the school’s Placement Committee, one of six Medill committees that in December selected students to serve alongside faculty in an effort to increase student involvement in the school.

The 15 graduate and undergraduate students were named to the committee after a Medill survey found that students wanted more involvement in school decision-making.

“I hope I can bring up things that may have been overlooked by a lack of student involvement,” White said. “I’m a very opinionated person. I’m not afraid to express my opinions in front of large groups of people.”

With the job market tightening, White said, placement services have become essential.

Assistant Dean Roger Boye, who led the application process, said some committees, such as Technology, were less popular with the 26 students who applied. Committee chairmen chose students for the committees based on their applications and the needs of the committees, he said.

Prof. David Nelson, who leads the Placement Committee, said he plans to put the seven students who joined his committee to work. One problem he wants the committee to look at is how the Placement Office gets busy only at certain times, he said. With the help of student committee members, Nelson said he hopes to encourage students to use the office to its full potential, including its resources on resumes and interviewing.

Technology Committee Chairman Prof. Rich Gordon said he hopes to make his committee more active by involving students in providing input and feedback to Medill’s technology director about what to buy and install.

“Over the course of the next year, one of our goals is going to be to set some overall priorities for (technological) investments at Medill,” Gordon said. “We as a committee are still defining our role.”

Some committees will demand a high level of confidentiality from students, Gordon said, but Prof. Mary Ann Weston, who chairs the Search and Appointments committee, said she is not worried. She said she expects students to take the issues seriously, given their interest in applying.

“I have asked everybody on the committee … to treat the issues with a degree of confidentiality,” Weston said. “I don’t have any reason to believe students are less likely to do that than anyone else.”