I’m not going to lie. Assessment can be a dull business. Generally (even among my own co-workers), the “A” word brings to mind spreadsheets, budget cuts and belly aches. I empathize with this view. Ill circumstances permitting, office assessment can be a difficult and unclear process.
Between you and me, I’m sure when a guy with large glasses and a penchant for bran muffins got the new assessment associate-director job, an air of trepidation probably came across some in the Associated Students.
I can’t say that I blame them, as mine are especially large frames.
This year, as in years past, the AS is taking steps to assure that the process is engaging and beneficial for all involved, from office programmers to students on the AS Structure and Program Advisory Committee, the group that assesses AS offices.
The creation of the new AS assessment office will make this process an everyday facet of the organization; alongside the new communications office, we now have a veritable feedback loop.
So what exactly do I do, you ask? I am the first ever AS assessment associate director — a privilege that isn’t lost on me.
This position provides me with a unique opportunity to help offices review their past successes and struggles, and guide them as an equal partner is shaping the office for the next four years.
I will also serve the chairperson of the aforementioned Structure and Program Advisory Committee (or “SPAC,” in AS acronym-speak).
On the face of it, my job isn’t the most desirable in the organization.
Many would prefer to hold jobs on the other end of the assessment process — those that allow people to put on concerts, protect our environment, keep students healthy, or a bevy of other things.
But the assessment job allows me and SPAC to learn about all kinds of offices, and help make sure that student input is a factor in the planning of AS programming and operations.
Call me crazy, but I find that to be pretty interesting stuff.
My hope for this brand-spanking-new office is to create an assessment atmosphere based on cooperation, collaboration and a clear vision for the future of an organization designed to serve the student body.
I’d like as many committed, hard-working and energetic students as possible in SPAC this year to help me realize this.
I’m looking forward to working with some of you reading this, and I know we’re going to have a good time.
Heck, I’ll even let you try on my glasses.