Srikanth Kondragunta - Fall 2009
The theme of Fall 2009 was internal development. Given TBP's diverse pallet of activities and expansive coverage as an organization, it is necessary to focus inward from time to time to ensure the cogs in the machine are working smoothly.
Spring 2009 was a busy semester for CA-A, highlighted by the successful execution of the Pioneers In Engineering program (PIE). CA-A celebrated the completion of many external facing projects,but at the expense of fostering internal camaraderie. Thus the goal and theme for Fall 2009 was to fine-tune chapter operations: improve officer bonding and leadership while continuing to provide the high-quality events and services to the engineering community for which CA-A is known.
One of the main goals of the semester was to bring the new IT server online. Due to an unfortunate hack, CA-A was forced to bring down the old server and quickly install a new one. All essential functions were brought online in a matter of hours including mail, candidate portal, events page, officer wiki, photos, and Noiro (Harvest 2.0).
Chapter publicity and PR were also in need of an overhaul. The officer corps engaged in a brainstorming session to help Publicity develop a new t-shirt design before democratically choosing one of the many options offered by the team. These shirts brought a renewed sense of pride and energy to CA-A and helped enhance TBP's image and presence in the community. We also designed and ordered professional polo shirts for our Industrial Relations Committee to use at career fairs and information sessions, improving the chapter's professional image in the eyes of companies.
In addition to these internal changes, CA-A continued to maintain a strong external presence. The chapter collaborated closely with other student groups and relevant faculty to resolve issues with office space in Bechtel. Restructuring in the engineering buildings threatened to leave TBP and other engineering student organizations without operating headquarters, which would jeopardize the functionality of these groups. By the end of Fall 2009, a plan was set to guarantee TBP and other student groups space in the new Bechtel building, providing for the chapter's smooth continued operations in the semesters to come.
Leading up to Fall 2009, E98 had begun to secede and gain independence as a separate student organization. Unfortunately, they were faced with numerous problems and challenges as a result. Consequently, the E98 position was reestablished within the officer corps during this semester to serve as a liaison to the E98 organizers. The E98 position allowed CA-A to extend its guidance, support, and resources and ensure that the decal remained operational and useful to freshmen.
Our candidate semester was the largest to date - we had a record 70 candidates. The renewed focus on support and camaraderie within the officer corps, combined with the dedication and talents of the officers, enabled us to handle such a large class with minimal complications.
In an effort to help officers grow and realize their potential, I created a leadership forum in the beginning of the semester aimed specifically at committee chairs but open to anyone interested. The point was to discuss general leadership guidelines and have the advisors answer any questions chairs may have had as well as offer their advice. As a result, our committee chairs were well equipped for the semester; they entered the semester confident and had many projects in mind for their committees. Throughout the semester, I also made sure to have check-ins with each committee to ensure progress was being made on all initially planned projects, resulting in a high percentage of initially planned projects being completed.
CA-A continued to use the house system to great effect. We also restructured the house leader position - house leaders no longer had to be officers but could instead be active members. Not only did this give candidates a house leader who could be dedicated to them, but it also gave members, perhaps those who were unable to obtain an officer position, an opportunity to remain involved in CA-A. Furthermore, the House Leader position served as a recruitment tool - it gave members a chance to preview what it would like to be an officer without investing the time and resources required by officers.
With the energy and drive CA-A had, it was no wonder that we won the Little Big Game against Stanford's TBP chapter. Go Bears!
Continuing the theme of officer bonding, this semester saw the return of weekly dinners before officer meetings to give participants a chance to socialize and reconnect. We continued the tradition of Secret Santa not only to celebrate the holidays and destress before finals, but also to provide additional channels for the officer corps to build rapport and develop a sense of unity. We also brought back monthly advisor meetings as well as the semesterly advisory board meeting to keep our advisors involved and feeling close to the chapter while providing their insights and support, thus strengthening our chapter as a whole.
Important Contributions and New Traditions
- Return of Half Dome Hike
- Execution of Chair Leadership Forum
- Reinstatement of the E98 position
- Return of advisor meetings and advisory board meeting
- Improvement of TBP IM Basketball Team (Justice League of Azeroth) to an over 50% winning percentage
- New t-shirts (Publicity)
- Increased number of e-futures to 3 (Prodev)
- New professional polos (Indrel)
- New server installed (IT)
- Won Little Big Game