COCO sets agenda
With the hopes of being a more efficient and non-political student governing body, the Coalition of Class Officers formed Spring term has set out to tackle the eight student issues it outlined at its formation.
The coalition was created through the combined efforts of the vice president and president of the Classes of 1995, 1996 and 1997. But 1995 Class Vice President Hosea Harvey was "the motivating force," said 1997 Class Vice President Matt Shafer.
The members of this coalition are the presidents and vice presidents of all the classes and serve as a think tank for student issues.
The COCO is working on an eight issue agenda this year. One of its intended goals is to look into student services at other schools and make recommendations as to their usefulness to the Dartmouth community. It also offers leadership and guidance to 1998 Class Council members, who may not know the best way to put their ideas into action.
"Having all of us meet together is just a great resource for us in terms of sharing ideas," Alyse Kornfeld, the 1995 class president said.
Presently the committee is working on a community service project with Education Department Chair Robert Binswanger in which Dartmouth students would help high schoolers in low-income areas prepare for SAT and AP exams. The project should become active this winter.
Some other topics included on the agenda are the issue of electronic reserve readings, a possible Senior Scholars program and the involvement of parents at Dartmouth.
There is also an idea for a general calendar of events for all the classes in order to keep conflicts to a minimum and facilitate interaction between the classes.
The issues covered by the group "could literally change people's lives at Dartmouth," Harvey said.
The COCO meets twice a week, in informal brainstorming sessions. The issues it covers are different from the ones addressed by the Student Assembly mostly because its main activity is researching information, Shafer said.
The COCO is "smaller and more efficient in terms of research" than the Assembly, he said.
The basic concept is that the Assembly is more suited to group projects because of its large numbers while the COCO, because it only has eight members, is able to focus on more intricate topics.
"We're going to do our own agenda so there will be no duplication [of the issues discussed by the Assembly]," Shafer said.
The group is requesting money through the Student Council, which would mean a slight increase in the budget allotted to the council.
The COCO is intended as a vehicle to combine the skills of the class leaders in order to address issues important to the students and to research concepts that would improve student life at Dartmouth, according to its statement of purpose.