Council initiates 2012-2013 executive board
With the school year coming to an end, the Engineering Governing Council initiated its newly-elected 2012-2013 executive board at a meeting Monday night, in which Parth Oza, outgoing EGC president, passed the gavel on to Jay Ravaliya.
Ravaliya, former EGC secretary, said his primary goal for the coming year is to get more students involved with the organization and build a stronger sense of community among members of the school.
“The School of Engineering is small compared to the rest of Rutgers. There are high schools out there that are larger,” said Ravaliya, a School of Engineering junior. “With only around 3,000 students, it’s important and possible for us to help one another and really build a close community.”
As the oldest governing council at the University, the EGC is composed of 32 societies and works with engineering departments and their deans to improve the overall learning experience for its students, Ravaliya said.
“People don’t realize it, but engineers often have to work together as a team, so it’s important to promote that concept of community that exists in the real world,” Ravaliya said.
Vetri Velan, outgoing first-year student representative and incoming university senator, said if the EGC could broaden its scope and get the word out to more students, he is sure they would want to participate and get involved.
Velan, a School of Engineering first-year student, said the best way to build a sense of community is to raise awareness about the council among students.
“We have strong leaders and motivated members so we’re able to accomplish all of our goals, but we’d love to see even more students get involved,” Velan said. “We can’t change things if no one tells us what’s working and what isn’t.”
Velan learned about the EGC on his first day at the University through the orientation process and knew he wanted to become involved.
“I decided to join because I regretted not being more involved in my high school’s student government. The reason I stayed, though, was the people,” Velan said.
The council also expanded tutoring options available for engineering students, he said.
“As freshmen, all engineers have to take ‘Matlab,’” Velan said. “A lot of the freshmen this year had difficulty with it, and so the EGC immediately tried to provide extra help.”
Ravaliya said he is planning to expand the council’s communications next year to reach out to more students.
“We want to utilize email, word of mouth, Facebook — every means possible to let students know what’s going on and that we’re here to try and improve their experience in the engineering school,” Ravaliya said.
Peter Spatocco, a representative for the Engineering Class of 2015, is also hoping to get more students involved.
“For next year, I’d really just like to urge more students to get involved, and I’m going to continue just trying to get the word out to as many people in my class as possible,” said Spatocco, a School of Engineering first-year student.
The newly elected executive board also includes School of Engineering junior Arjun Ganatra as internal vice president, junior David Prado as external vice president, sophomore David Tran as treasurer and first-year student Sharlina Keshava as secretary. School of Engineering junior Laura Norkute, sophomore Deepika Seethamraju and sophomore Rutvij Patel were elected as university senators.
In the past year, the council has worked to create study abroad opportunities to bridge the gap between students and engineering departments by creating the Engineers Honors Council and the Engineer of the Month Award, Oza said via email correspondence.
“[The] winner [is] selected each month, and they receive a $200 stipend, personal parking in Lot 59 for a month [and] recognition of the School of Engineering website,” said Oza, a School of Engineering senior.
Other accomplishments the EGC made during the past semester include bringing back the School of Engineering yearbook to highlight students in the school, which has not been published in two decades.
Oza said via email the council has been very effective in achieving its goals.
“The structure and organization of EGC allows us to effectively tackle issues [that are] School of Engineering- and University-wide,” he said. “Outside of the council members, there are countless general body members who are involved with EGC simply to gain valuable leadership skills and be involved in the School of Engineering.”