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Students support Mizzou protesters

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Photo courtesy of Shatiek Gatlin

Students, faculty, and members of administration gathered in Reynolds Campus Center on Thursday, November 12 in a show of support to student protesters at Yale University and the University of Missouri, also known as “Mizzou.” Led by the Black Student Union, the meeting echoed a national conversation about campus racism, student safety, and free speech.

Over the past weeks, students at Yale and Mizzou have demonstrated against racial discrimination on their campuses. At Yale, protests were triggered after Associate Master Erika Christakis sent an email pushing back against Halloween costume guidelines. These guidelines, distributed by a branch of Yale’s administration, outlined what kinds of costumes may be perceived as offensive.

At Mizzou, protesters forced their president to resign after accusations that he had failed to address marginalized students. Students at the university have been subject to threats on social media and over the phone, as well as physical displays of racism on campus.

At Babson, students wore all black and posed in a photo to lend solidarity. “I think that it’s important when you’re in a place of privilege to just try to be an ally in whatever way possible, and I think that being here is a hugely miniscule thing I can do to be an ally,” Kai Haskins (’18) said.

The gathering was a major part of Babson’s reaction to the incidents, which also included a prayer service in Glavin Chapel a widespread response on social media. An email from the Student Government Association urged students “to discuss the events transpiring at these two universities and to consider the role students play.”

Such a showing is rare for Babson, a school typically resistant to social movements. “This is the first time since coming to Babson that I’ve seen a physical display of solidarity in a public place about something that’s happening not on our campus,” Brenna Leary (’18) said.

Yet participants in the gathering stressed that, although they are occurring elsewhere, the protests are relevant locally.

“These issues are very alive and real in our community as well. It hasn’t had the same bubbling-up effect as what’s happened at Missou and Yale, but this is very much a reality for a lot of students of color,” Victoria Bills (’16) said.

Students initiate Alpha Kappa Psi colony

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Photo courtesy of Elaine Zhang

Another business fraternity aims to join the Babson community. A group of students, primarily freshmen and sophomores, are in the process of establishing a Babson branch of international professional fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, also known as AKPsi.

The group first required approval from the Heritage Center, the organization’s headquarters, and from Babson itself. It is currently recognized as a “colony;” that is, a fledgling chapter that must prove it has the membership and capability to be formally installed. Once this occurs, likely in the spring, the chapter may pitch to the Student Government Association to be recognized as an official Babson organization.

“It’s been a long process,” AKPsi President Rada Ilieva (’18) said. “It’s very different than a regular org.”

AKPsi is the oldest and largest business fraternity in the world. Started at New York University in 1904, it has since inducted more than 250,000 students. Previous membership includes Presidents Ronald Regan and Richard Nixon, U.S. senators, and business leaders in every industry.

“The main focus of Alpha Kappa Psi is to provide leadership development, personal and professional training and the fundamental ingredient higher education misses—experience,” the organization’s website claims.

Babson’s colony has expanded rapidly, attracting about 80 colonists in a few months. “We grew really quickly,” Ilieva said. “We’re trying to maintain that brotherhood and have those close relationships, which is why we started in the first place.”

Ilieva says she looks forward to seeing the chapter come into its own. “I’m most excited about seeing things develop and people actually being able to use it for networks and fun.”

Shuttle service to Boston resumes, with changes

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On Friday, November 13, Academy shuttle service to Boston was reinstated after its removal last year due to behavioral issues.

Whereas shuttles last year visited multiple locations around Boston, including Copley Square, the Theatre District, and Faneuil Hall, Academy will now only offer service to Copley. On Thursday nights, shuttles will bring students to Copley, but not back, and on Friday and Saturday nights they will both pick up and drop off. The regular circuit to the Woodland T station and back will continue as usual.

This unusual schedule is part of an agreement meant to address the factors that led to the service’s removal last year. These included damage to buses, disrespect of drivers, and numerous alcohol-related incidents. According to Student Government Association Senator Manuel Whitfield, the ride to Babson is longer than to most schools, increasing the chances of such issues. “The majority of the problems are when students are coming back from Boston,” Whitfield (’16) said. The new schedule has fewer, and earlier, trips to Boston.

Last year, the SGA explored multiple alternatives to termination of service, but ultimately decided to limit service to Woodland. At that time, it had reached the point where “no bus driver wanted to drive our route,” Whitfield said. “To the student body it seemed like a big change, something abrupt. It hasn’t been—this has been going on for some time.”

In the past, shuttle service was funded primarily by Babson College, with SGA contributing a small portion of funding. With these changes, SGA will contribute a larger amount.

Whitfield stressed that shuttle service is a privilege. “[Students] need to take care of the things [they] have around [them]. This gives the College the flexibility to do more things. We could have a lot more fun and fruitful events.”

Babson Global faces renaming, restructuring

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Additional reporting and authorship by Morgan Roth.


 

Change is likely in Babson Global’s future. Two task forces, the College Integration Working Group and the Legal Financial Working Group, worked over the summer to provide restructuring recommendations. These include changing the initiative’s name, “limiting [Babson Global’s] mission to the fulfillment of two existing contracts,” “[Closing] down the E-Cities business line with [the] option to recoup Babson Global investment at a later date,” shifting the Global Consortium, E-Learning, and Goldman Sachs initiatives into the College, and “[putting] in place a new, formal vetting system within the College comprised of Academic and Administrative leaders to evaluate global opportunities going forward,” according to a September Faculty Senate Meeting minutes sheet.

Babson Global, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that was started under previous president Leonard Schlesinger and has been active throughout President Healey’s term. Since 2013, Babson Global has taken on a diverse range of projects, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, E-Learning, Enterprise Cities, and the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Educators (GCEE).

Some projects, like the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, were already established before Babson Global was created. This project, launched by Goldman Sachs in 2009, has helped many people start businesses, and there are talks of bringing it back to Babson College in order to get students involved in the project.

Others, such as the Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities Project, also known as the E-Cities Project or CECP, have been met with some controversy. The project’s website states that it exists to “analyze the constraints to economic growth in a particular country, and develop a comprehensive set of solutions to those constraints across the dimensions of property rights protection, open trade, and domestic competition.” In some countries, this includes building Babson-endorsed centers in countries like Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. For instance, King Abdullah Economic City, a sprawling Saudi Arabian development, will be home to the Babson Global Entrepreneurial Leadership Center.

Two task forces, the College Integration Working Group and the Legal Financial Working Group, worked over the summer to provide restructuring recommendations.

Similarly, the Global Consortium met pushback from faculty, especially regarding intellectual property rights. This project enables international schools to purchase access to Babson resources. Some faculty were concerned about whether Babson was licensing their intellectual property, such as curricula, without their permission or compensation.

Others, like the E-Learning project, have had trouble getting off the ground. As of October 2015, there are no current E-Learning projects. The most recent initiative posted on the Babson Global website is a 2013 licensing deal with online course platform NovoEd.

Sodexo contract to end this year

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On June 30, the contract between Babson and Sodexo, the College’s food provider, expires. However, this year, for the first time since Sodexo came to campus, Babson has decided not to renew the contract right away. Instead, it has hired an independent consultant to find actual reasons behind students’ dissatisfaction with dining services and begun a bidding process for new catering companies. This news has caused both negative and positive emotions among students, and action from Student Government Association. I decided to research the subject from a third party perspective and share the information I found.

For more than 20 years, Sodexo has catered Babson and Olin College students and provided the majority of food options on our campuses. However, over the past couple of years, Trim Dining Hall at Babson has started to gain a mixed reputation. Asking students their opinion on Trim, the most popular answer I received was “sometimes there is no food.” Think about it.

As Trim is considered to the main dining location on campus, this particular response from the student body should be extremely alarming. Research from college. niche.com contains data on all colleges in the United States, and also includes rating on dining services. Among Boston area colleges and universities, Babson is ranked 28th in food catering, which is a relatively low score for a school with such a big reputation. The three leaders are UMass Amherst with Pioneer Valley catering, Boston University with Aramark, and Tufts with Corporate Chefs, all of which are big schools in big cities. As you see, Sodexo does not cater any of these schools.

Is there a reason why large Massachusetts colleges do not choose Sodexo as their food provider? My on-campus research mainly consisted of talking to people. I learned that SGA is relatively open in discussing the bidding process and also very involved in the final decision process itself. They constructed focus groups of Babson students and invited an independent consultant who very precisely asked each participant’s opinion on dining options. From the group that I was in, the comments were not positive but very reasonable and valid. They did not articulate anything extraordinary for Trim, but instead expressed a need for basic, consistent, and eatable options like good rice and chicken. In addition, many voiced concerns regarding the quality of coffee in both Trim and Olin Graduate School.

On the other hand, students seemed completely satisfied with Reynolds and Olin College food services, both of which are also served by Sodexo. So, should we switch or not?

Let’s look at the outcomes of both of these decisions first.

Positive:

  1. Something new. Babson had Sodexo more than 25 years now, so a new catering company will definitely freshen up our small campus and give students new experiences.
  2. I’m kind of broke. There is a possibility that the costs of the meal plans will go down when the provider comes in, but actually no one knows about that.

Negative:

  1. WasSub? If Sodexo leaves, we all should consider associated changes in a big picture. Of course Trim will change, but Reynolds will change too. According to Sodexo monthly surveys and focus groups constructed by SGA, Babson students are very happy with the food quality in Reynolds. Grill 155 and everyone’s favorite Sub station recently got supported with customizable noodles and healthy salads stations. However, if Sodexo changes, we all most definitely can forget about subs too.
  2. Don’t leave me, Olin. Babson students love Olin dining hall. And, because Olin is also served by Sodexo, we can have some free swipes there. Moreover, as a lot of Olin students take classes at Babson and vice versa, the fact that they we can also eat in each other’s colleges increases convenience and saves time. Therefore, changing Sodexo will lead not only to an inability to exchange meals in Olin, but also to the disruption of communication between us and Olin students.

One can add so many things to these list. But I personally I think that, even if we switch, nothing will change in Trim itself, besides name of company and costs. So, maybe instead of taking a risk for Continued from page one. something new, we all should try to work on improving Sodexo.

Sodexo wants to hear from students and Trim management is willing to follow up on their feedback. For example, did you know that you can fill in a form to arrange a menu for one of the Trim stations for a whole day? Or that you can even meet with one of the chefs to show them the recipe of a dish you would like to be cooked for your special or national holiday? These are just two surprising facts I found out about Trim. They both sound pretty cool for me, because, by the end of the day, I am also a student here, who is also demanding some improvements in Babson dining services

Town of Wellesley Cracks Down on Food Safety

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On September 30th, the Town of Wellesley Health Department notified Babson College administration that they will be enforcing stricter guidelines on all food events on campus, whether philanthropic or not. This increased regulation jeopardizes much loved campus events such as Chi-Hop and Kappa Con Queso, as well as entrepreneurial food businesses on campus.  

Babson College administration reacted quickly, notifying organizations that have food events planned this year and hired a Food Consultant just days after the notification. The College allowed Delta Sigma Pi’s Bubble Tea with DSP event to proceed as scheduled the day after the notification, believing that it would be unfair to cancel the event with so little notice.

Melissa Beecher, Director of Student Activities and Leadership, explained that “We were not in compliance with Town of Wellesley regulations.” There seemed to be a mutual understanding between the college and town prior to the notice, but the increased enforcement came after several encounters between organizations or businesses and the Town of Wellesley Health Department. Beecher emphasized that “There was no individual triggering event,” and that “It’s nobody’s fault.”

Working with the Town of Wellesley and the newly hired Food Consultant, the college administration started the process to develop a Standard Operating Procedure in which all parties would be satisfied. Beecher emphasized that “Philanthropic, cultural, and faith based food events are such a big part of the core identity of these groups,” and that parties need to work together to develop “guidelines approved by Babson and [The Town of] Wellesley to send to organizations.”  

Looking to the future, Beecher stated that “We won’t be back to what we were,” hinting at big changes to food event policy. “As soon as we know what is going on, we will be reaching out to everyone.”

The organizations of Greek life organize many of the food events on campus. Mindy Freedman, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, President of the Panhellenic Council and Co-Chair of the Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Team, stated that “It is upsetting that we aren’t able to hold these events for a while since they bring the community together and are for a good cause … but we are trying to be creative about coming up with new way to raise money,” referring to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s upcoming philanthropic flag football tournament.

Babson administration will be extremely conservative in the coming weeks when planning food events as they develop their guidelines with the Town of Wellesley. Any questions, feedback or concerns can be directed to the Student Activities and Leadership division at sal@babson.edu

Chartwells makes an entrance

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This fall and spring semester, Babson College invited a new dining service provider, Chartwells, to campus in an effort to improve student’s dining experience. This major change has been met with much excitement, as students weigh in on the new food quality and selection across campus’ three eating venues.

After having served Babson and Olin College students for over 20 years, Babson viewed Sodexo’s expiring contract as an opportunity to revamp the food options on campus. Chartwells won the sought after bid for serving at Babson Peter Connors, Chartwells’ Resident District Manager, explains that “both Babson College and Chartwells share the same values for campus food services: we are committed to fantastic service, great food quality, and the ability to efficiently run an excellent business and preserve the environment for the future through our sustainable efforts.”

Although the battle for the bid has been won, there is an undeniable pressure that Chartwells feels to impress Babson’s students for renewal next year. Between the new self service hot food options, tailored seasonal menus, streamlined new food platforms, and many interactive, customizable options, Trim has received a much needed facelift. Within the first week of school,Chartwells set a high standard of service and tasty food, leaving many to question if the food provider will be able to continue to impress.

When asked about the issue, Connors reassures the College there are methods put in place to maintain a high quality of food, such as “management team conducting a series of audits,… mystery shoppers, and semester reviews with Babson constituents.” Additionally, there are “several mechanisms in place: email, social media, and text to solve, ‘Happy or Not’ kiosk, and in person feedback through table touching” to ensure satisfactory dining.

Even though, the feedback received about Chartwells has been overwhelmingly positive, there is still room to grow.

In the coming months Chartwells aims to address long lines and food shortages in due time “through the use of technology, menu engineering, and training.” Overall, Babson students are enjoying the change, taking it one meal at a time.

Wildlife on Campus

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The fact that wild animals live in and around the Babson College campus may come as a surprise to many urban-dwellers or international students who aren’t used to four seasons, trees, or forested areas. The Babson College campus is a great edge habitat for raccoons, squirrels, or other snack-hungry wild animals because it is the boundary of two different habitats: the wooded forest of Wellesley and the human development that makes up our school.

According to “Wildlife in the Suburbs” on the Wellesley government website, wild animals are coming “too close to people and begging for food”.  When people feed wild animals, the creatures lose their fear of human interaction and soon expect handouts from everyone they meet. While playing with these adorable animals, people need to be more careful with it in case they cause legal problems unintentionally. In fact, the town of Wellesley imposes a fine of up to $200 for feeding any wildlife.  

In the past, the town of Wellesley has had problems with encounters between household pets and wild animals.  Animals coming from their forested habitat into the edge habitat of suburbia take advantage of food, trash, or small household pets (yikes!) that have been left outside by accident.  Members of the Woodland dorm community, like myself, agree that there is no shortage of skunks and raccoons playing around near the dumpsters by the Woodland parking lot.  When walking past dumpsters (where they like to hang out), they generally run away when approached.

Here are some suggestions to avoid attracting a raccoon into your dorm at night: Secure trash in raccoon-proof containers, which are easily found around campus.  For the most part, the dumpsters have heavy lids that raccoons cannot open.  Given this, don’t leave the lid open.  Near the Woodland dorms of Babson College, behind Trim, and in many more locations, it could be helpful to put ammonia, bleach, or red pepper on the trash bag in the evening to deter animals at night.  Don’t leave snacks or leftovers on the picnic tables or on the barbecue grill.

Overall, this is a great campus filled with wildlife, but it can quickly become overrun by hungry critters if we’re not careful.  We’re lucky to share such a great space with our abundance of wildlife, but we need to be more careful in the way we are treating them.

Dynamic Business Relations; FME Then vs. Now

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“The only way to understand what it takes to run a business is to actually run a business,” according to the Babson website. The Babson undergraduate curriculum has been made internationally famous in part through its brilliant Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship class (FME).

The method of how FME is taught has largely remained consistent through the years. However, there have been adaptations to the curriculum to address a deeper global impact while indulging in the opportunity to use state-of-theart technological innovation on all fronts.

William Bermant, a senior and CEO of his FME business three years ago, has made the choice to give back to the freshman class by becoming a peer mentor with a global mindset. Students of the past FME classes generally understood that peer mentors tell you what to do or just help you study, but really they guide you through the entire process with a holistic perspective. This includes understanding the overall value of a team, helping with business relationships, dealing with supply-side conflicts, leading exam study sessions, helping with presentation practice for the rocket pitches, and of course, providing constructive feedback with real examples for personal improvement.

FME mentors are extremely insightful to first-year students, but to the mentors, there is a greater significance that encompasses what it means to give back. By giving their time to help current FME students, peer mentors like William exemplify a real-life example of coming full circle with the FME business cycle flow that first-year students are being tested on.

William says, “It’s great to communicate with each section of the team,” which is helpful in experiencing the whole FME process with a more holistic view and expanded perspective.

Much of the current FME curriculum involves working within a small group of people doing such a specialized task that sometimes it is possible to lose sight of the overall big picture goals of the company. Facilitating an open communication between all members of the group ensures everyone gets a holistic understanding of the company’s global and/or local impacts; it is one of the most significant components of the FME class.

Sarah Dilworth, a current junior who worked with the HR department for her FME company as a first-year, has interesting insights on some aspects of the FME curriculum then versus now. She wants the experience to be “more holistic.”

The HR department does a decent job with individual performance appraisals, but sometimes the feedback isn’t “being used,” says Sarah. Sarah also suggests that “getting an overview of what the jobs are before getting assigned,” would be a helpful improvement to the class. Nonetheless, she liked her FME business’ operations department so much that she chose to concentrate in operations as her personal college focus, fulfilling her own personal holistic FME experience.

The business world is a dynamic place and this year’s FME class is ready to lead these global changes. “Obviously, businesses are designed to make profit, but now we’re looking at how to solve global problems as well,” states current FME class professor David Lopez. He introduces, “There’s now an additional focus on service-related businesses. It’s relatively easy to resell a shirt or a mug, and those common FME retail businesses are great for teaching everything we need in terms of experience, but we’re also trying to focus on the service aspect, like providing consulting services. Despite the fact that these services require more research and sometimes are hard to quantify, we’re trying to encourage these businesses too.” Professor Lopez sees that the desires of the current students are changing over time from mostly past retail-based FME startup companies to current companies selling unique services rather than retail products.

In these respects, FME is more dynamic than many other classes offered elsewhere; consumer mindsets evolve over time and this signature class aims to stay ahead of the curve.

Babson professor arrested at DACA protest in Cambridge

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Professor Bruyneel represented Babson at the DACA demonstration and was arrested. Photo by Emily Zhou.

Additional reporting by Yun Liang.

It was a typical Thursday afternoon in Cambridge. Harvard students and professors were hustling in and out of classes while local residents were busy with the course of daily life. At 4:00 PM, 31 professors from Harvard, MIT, Boston College, and Babson College were arrested for blocking traffic along Massachusetts Avenue at a peaceful protest against President Trump’s decision to repeal DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Babson professor Kevin Bruyneel, who teaches in the History and Society Division, was among those arrested. The protesters carried out a planned act of nonviolent civil disobedience to denounce the possible end to an amnesty program that protects 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

What is DACA?

DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, is an executive order carried out by the Obama administration that grants temporary legal status to approximately 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants. The program is for children living in the U.S. without documentation who were between 15 and 31 years old as of June 15, 2012, the date when DACA was instated. Applicants were required to have clean criminal records, proof of education from elementary, junior high, and high school or an equivalent program designed to obtain the General Education Diploma, or to be a veteran of the Armed Forces or Coast Guard. Recipients are granted permission to travel, work, study, and have driver’s licenses. DACA was intended as a temporary solution to the DREAM Act, which was proposed in 2001 and came close to passing in 2010. This act would have granted permanent legal status to young immigrants who were brought to America illegally.

What is happening to DACA now?

DACA is being put on pause until March 2018 while Congress decides whether to pass the DREAM act or altogether eliminate any alternatives for immigrants. No new DACA applications will be allowed after September 5, and current DACA recipients have until October 5 to renew their applications for another two years. Renewals are only considered for people whose applications expire between now and March 5. The government will also allow two-year permits to expire. However, come March, DACA recipients could face deportation. While, according to CNN, immigration officials have said that they do not intend on targeting young immigrants for deportation, without the temporary legal residence provided by DACA, recipients would be subject to removal from the U.S. and ineligible to work legally. In support of his decision, President Trump stated that DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by illegal aliens.” According to a survey conducted by Tom Wong of the University of California, over 93% of DACA recipients above the age of 25 are employed, compared to 78% of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 54.


Interview Feature: Leslie Parra (’19), demonstration attendee

The Babson Free Press: How did you find out about the DACA protest rally?

Leslie Parra: [I found out] by taking Professor Bruyneel’s course Radical Politics TodayIn class, he mentioned his plans to protest in Cambridge with other professors from Harvard, MIT, BU, and other institutions. He welcomed students to join.

BFP: How did the protest play out?

LP: Fifteen professors linked arms to block traffic and held signs that said “Education Not Deportation” and “No Ban on Stolen Land.” The organizers of the protest contacted Cambridge Police Department beforehand to notify them of the demonstration. This ensured that things would not get violent. It was a peaceful demonstration with orderly arrests. Prof. Bruyneel intentionally wore a Babson t-shirt to represent Babson College in the media and show the college’s support for all students, whether or not they are undocumented. It also helped that Harvard, a prestigious institution, was the primary organizer behind the demonstration.

BFP: How did you feel when you got there?

LP: It was my first rally. I was comfortable because I saw other Babson students but also because I was supporting an issue bigger than Babson. I didn’t know too much about DACA, but I knew that repealing it was morally wrong. I was fighting for the DACA recipients who didn’t know about the event or were afraid to protest.

BFP: What happened to Professor Bruyneel?

LP: He was peacefully arrested. 31 professors ended up demonstrating (more than the fifteen that were originally planned). He brought 40 dollars in cash to pay for his bail. He was arrested at 5:30 PM and released at 9:00 PM. He had a court day the following week and the charges against him were dropped. No six-month probation.

BFP: How can a Babson Student get involved with social justice issues?

LP: The ONE organization is a great way to get involved with these kinds of issues. We pride ourselves on tackling social issues, sponsoring the Babson Community Forum on DACA along with the Latin American Student Org (LASO). LASO is in solidarity with the Latino community, 500,000 of [whose members] are Latino DACA recipients.