Materials and Supplies Task Force Update
Today, Provost and Dean Isabel Roche, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs John Bullock, and Dean of the Library Oceana Wilson sent the following memo to Bennington College students, faculty, and staff.
This term, the Office of the Provost and Dean of the College launched a Materials and Supplies Task Force to examine through an equity lens both student costs and how the College supports student work across different areas of study. The goal is to minimize disparities in out-of-pocket expenses among areas of study so as to ensure equal access for students to all parts of our curriculum, regardless of their personal financial situation.
Throughout the term, the Task Force, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, has been meeting regularly to examine these issues. The group has worked to both coordinate ongoing efforts and identify new opportunities, and will continue meeting throughout the 2019-20 academic year.
We are delighted to share the following highlights and outcomes of our work this term:
- The Student Educational Policies Committee (SEPC) conducted a survey of SEPC representatives and student volunteers to identify course costs and accessibility needs within each discipline.
- SEPC and FLoW are overseeing an end-of-term tool and material drive to solicit donations of used art supplies and other material that can be redistributed to students. Tools and materials can be dropped off at Crossett Library. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SEPC and FLoW are overseeing a book donation drive to gather books for Crossett Library’s student textbook section–a collection of multiple copies of books used in courses that are available for students to checkout for an entire term. Books can be dropped off at Crossett Library.
- The Office of Student Life created a new student employment position, Assistant Coordinator for Sustainable Initiatives, which will coordinate partnerships with students, faculty, and staff to collect, repurpose, and redistribute unused and unneeded materials and supplies, both academic and personal, at the end of each academic term.
- Crossett Library added 14 new circulating laptops available for check out.
- IT@Bennington obtained a donation of Mac desktop computers and coordinated with FLoW to distribute them to 15 students.
- SEPC developed a Guide to Affording Materials for students, highlighting free and low-cost possibilities for obtaining material required for courses.
The Materials and Supplies Task Force will reconvene at the beginning of the Fall 2019 term. All members of the community are invited to join; details will be shared in September.