Engineering junior Luther Mitchell is excited to implement his vision of a North Campus that best accommodates students.
As the newly elected president of the University Engineering Council, the student government body representing engineering students, Mitchell said his vision is to build off the achievements of his predecessors while resolving the campus issues of his constituency.
The most consistent complaints UMEC has heard through the years, Mitchell said can be reduced to four issues: food, lack of community, parking shortages and unreliable modes of transportation.
Mitchell said plans have already been put into motion to solve some problems by building more parking structures and by building a larger performance center that would entice more students to come to North Campus. Yet, Mitchell said these plans will only be realized in the far future.
“All of the recurring problems, they’ve already planned to fix. However, it will take 10 to 15 years,” he said.
Mitchell, in the meantime, said he plans to focus on more plausible goals such as strengthening the role of UMEC. With the help of his administration, he also wants to create a freshman engineering council that would come into effect next year for the incoming freshmen. “We want to get freshmen to get more involved right away so that they can take on the lead roles they had in high school,” he said.
He also mentioned more philanthropy events such as a “Casino Night” to draw more attention to the Engineering Council. To channel the student voice, one representative from each of the more than 60 engineering societies must be present at the UMEC meeting. The meeting is also open to any engineers who want to attend.
UMEC council members hope to channel these opinions voiced at the meetings to the administration. The executive board meets once a month with Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Levi Thompson. Mitchell said, they also have at their disposal other facets of the University such as the student-run Duderstadt Center and the Pierpont Commons Board.
UMEC’s last meeting of the semester yesterday marked the transition of power from the outgoing representatives. The meeting also commemorated the achievements of the departing executive board.
Last year, UMEC was instrumental in the push to build the convenience center located in the Pierpont Commons. UMEC’s insistent lobbying and involvement with the Pierpont Board resulted in the placement of a pool table, couches and a television in one of the Pierpont Commons student lounges. “These additions create an atmosphere that is hard to find in North Campus,” said outgoing president Lauren Greiner.
Mitchell also said a speed bump was put in this summer at the busy intersection of Murfin Road and Duffield Street in part due to the insistence of UMEC. “It is such a busy intersection that I know of a couple of accidents where people were hit with cars,” Mitchell said.
UMEC works with other colleges on campus through the town hall meetings that are held once a month. At these meetings, all students on North Campus are welcome to share their opinion on any facet of the campus that affects them.