New SUB Project Design Charrette – September 14th & 16th

The New SUB project seems to be coming along quite nicely. From the snippets that I have heard (and I haven’t heard that much so don’t take my word for it) the project seems to be on track. The design and sustainability charrettes are scheduled to happen on the 14th and 16th of September respectively. What is a charrette you ask? Good question! According to the email I received from the New SUB Project Coordinator, a charrette is a “focused and collaborative brainstorming session to encourage the spontaneous exchange of ideas and information, and allow truly integrated design solutions to emerge.”

According to the New SUB project Coordinator, the day will roughly be broken down like this

8:00-8:30am – Sign up and breakfast.

8:30-10:15 – Introduction and information regarding the project.

10:15-10:30 – Coffee break

10:30-2:30 – Broken off into smaller groups with a facilitator (for some brainstorming I assume) and lunch

2:30-2:45 – Afternoon break

2:45-5:00 – Groups will convene and give reports. Comments and closing remarks.

All of this sounds amazing to participate in; there is one small catch, you have to be able to stay for the entire day to be able to participate at all. While I understand that it is important to be part of the entire process to be able to contribute as meaningfully as possible, I can’t help but wonder if there was some way to split up the workshops a little more or maybe run them on the weekend.

The second week of term is an extremely stressful period of time. With running around trying to figure out which classes to take, which classes to drop and which classes to try and get into, there is no way for me to determine whether or not I can skip a class for this charrette. I feel like this unnecessarily excludes students who do want to be involved and are extremely interested in the project purely because they are trying to put their education first.

I personally am very disappointed that it looks like I won’t be able to participate in these charettes. It was one of the things I looked forward to see happen and be a part of last year whenever student engagement was discussed. I think it’s irresponsible to neglect to mold the charettes into something that is friendlier to the student timetable; making them more accessible to more students, not just the ones who have 8 hours lying around. I am fully aware that there will be other opportunities to participate in this building but these charettes are unique and would be better served if there were more student voices as opposed to less. To turn away students who want to participate because they can’t commit a full day seems ludicrous to me; its frustrating when I want to participate and be involved but cannot.

If you d happen to be free on the 14th and 16th and would like to participate, make sure you RSVP to on or before Friday September 3rd.


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  1. The 16th is also a BoG meeting, meaning I doubt I’ll be able to attend that either

    Posted by Arshy | September 2, 2010, 7:53 pm
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