HGSE student council members say amplifying underrepresented voices a top priority | New


The Harvard Graduate School of Education student council will prioritize amplifying the voices of under-represented students and reducing the gap between distance learning and in-person students, according to several board members.

In interviews, four members of HGSE’s student council, who sit on the Student Advocacy and Issues Committee and the Programming and Events Committee, shared their goals for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Members of the events committee have said they will try to organize events that welcome distance learning students.

Lisha MF Bornilla said the events committee will try to accommodate all students.

“We will try to target 100% of the events we want to do [to be] inclusive in terms of creating a hybrid model where we run events in person, but give people the ability to access those events remotely, ”she said.

Bornilla also said she hopes to create events that address student mental health.

“I’ve talked to people who really feel like they don’t have the tools to deal with the stress, the workload,” she said.

Jasmine N. Stecker, a member of the advocacy committee, said she believes students are still suffering the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the pandemic is still affecting most students, if not all, and one of the quietest voices right now are part-time students, especially students who are not on campus,” a- she declared. “They advocated for better access to online courses, or even face-to-face classes if they are in the area.”

Students learning remotely this semester were accepted into a special HGSE admission program in the summer of 2020 that allowed students, many of whom are working full time, to enroll part time and virtually at HGSE. .

Stecker said she believes her role on the board is to highlight concerns of students who are not speaking out.

“It will be an interesting challenge for the board to really seek out communities that need a voice but are not loud,” she said. “It’s difficult at Harvard because there are so many communities that are very, very loud, but we can’t just take the loud ones and forget about the non-loud ones.”

Xidong “Max” Tang, who also sits on the advocacy committee, said he would work to support under-represented student groups.

To better support first-generation students, for example, he said the council and the university should hold workshops on “how to get a good job”. He also said he believed there should be more resources on campus for BGLTQ students.

Board member Kanan Dubal also said she believes the school administration should seek feedback from international students, especially as HGSE is launching its new masters program. The program, announced in February, emphasizes teaching basic knowledge to students before more specialized training.

“I think student voices will be very important in defining these programs and getting student feedback,” Dubal said. “I wanted the voice of the international student community to be heard on these particular issues as well, to make sure that the programs are more inclusive, that they reach out to all kinds of populations, and not just for a specific subset of people. students. “

– Editor Omar Abdel Haq can be contacted at [email protected]

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