Committee Focus: Academics Committee

This week, as part of the Committee-Focus series, the Communications Committee sat down with the head of the Academics Committee, Olivia Ott, to gain more insight on their goals and plans for the new year. Ott describes the Academics Committee as a group of 20 students who meet as a whole every two weeks to discuss Princeton’s academic policy.

Within the cohort of 20 students, the Academics Committee is broken down into smaller groups, which each take on a specific branch of academic policy. The Academics Committee sends five student representatives to meetings chaired by Dean Dolan. They discuss topics related to a student’s course of study. For example, they approve all new certificates and determine whether language courses should be PDF-ed.

Another group of five students meet with members working with the Undergraduate Admissions and Financial aid office. Their work is mostly confidential. However, one such example of projects this group covers is Ban the Box: an initiative that hopes to increase the diversity of people who apply to Princeton by omitting the previously incarcerated checkbox from Princeton’s application.

The remaining 10 members are currently focused on improving freshman and sophomore academic advising. They plan on creating informational videos that will allow advisors to see how to best help students in their academic careers. In addition, they hope to incentivize more faculty to advise and initiate more regular meetings between advisors and students. On top of academic advising, the Academics Committee is also heavily focused on reforming the Honor Code system. They are currently discussing whether or not faculty should be added to the honor committee and brainstorming more ways to make the system more fair for students.

All in all, the Academics Committee is concentrated on improving the quality of student education at Princeton. If one wants to learn more about to committee, or is interested in becoming involved, they should contact Olivia Ott at oott@princeton.edu.