News

News

Tuition dollars support FME and campus improvements

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Ever wonder where tuition money goes? Does it go into FME startup companies? How exactly are tuition expenses split up?

Babson College’s tuition is approximately $46,784. Add Room & Board and the Meal Plan to that and you get a whopping $64,612 in estimated expenses. As it turns out, an average undergrad pays approximately 68% of that total cost of attendance. So where does that other 32% come from?

Luckily, Babson’s operating activities are rich in contributions from alumni. This allows Babson to administer many of the educational programs and auxiliary activities effectively—one of those programs being FME.

Every year, Babson accords $100,000 to the FME program, in which students have the opportunity to write an inspired business plan and reclaim all of that money. “We essentially treat [FME allocations] as a loan, and when the business is made, [partial profit goes to Babson and the rest goes to charity],” Senior Associate VP of Accounting and Finance Richard Bowman said. The $100,000 does not get fully reimbursed into Biz E. Beaver’s wallet; that is when alumni contributions come into play.

Taking into account all of these expenses, most of which are part of the Undergraduate program, one might notice that Babson as an institution distributes this money to benefit students. Expenses range from Instructional Divisions to Student Services to Institutional Support, and, most importantly, to Academic Support.

One significant investment Babson has made for its students is the upgrading of campus residence halls, illustrated by the major construction in Park Manor Central. These all contribute to beautifying and differentiating Babson campus life and academic life from other schools.

When walking around the campus, one should aware of their surroundings. They may notice that a lot of what is coming out of students’ pockets is being put to good use.

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.

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.

Biggest class size in Babson’s history

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In the history of Babson College, the first-year class of 2020 is undoubtedly the biggest cohort that matriculated, with the numbers showing that at 588 students, about 60 more students chose to enroll this year as compared to the previous year.

The acceptance rate, which dropped from 28% to 26% last year, currently stands at 25%–the lowest it has ever been thus affirming that the admissions process has become even more selective. In addition, the yield rate which traditionally stands at 27-28% was higher this year, which means that although the admitted students are academically more competitive and are likely to have other choices among top notch schools, a greater number of the first-years chose to complete their undergraduate degree at Babson.

It is thus upon the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Office to adjust the algorithm used to determine selection and yielding of students because as the Dean of the Undergraduate School, Ian Lapp confirms, “The population growth seen this academic year was unintentional and will not be the class size for future incoming cohorts.”

This year’s large intake does reflect a growing level of interest in Babson and its commitment towards promoting entrepreneurship of all kinds, however, the size of the campus cannot fully support additional students. The population increase has had an impact on the availability of adequate housing on campus with the effect being that several transfer students lacked on-campus housing this year while several rooms in residential houses were subdivided to accommodate more students.

Similarly, despite the warm reception of the new dining services from Chartwells, there has been the tendency of long queues forming during peak hours of the day at both Trim and Reynolds. There has also been limited opportunity to adjust class schedules or take some of the required courses, which prompted the Registrar’s Office to add more sections to certain courses in order to accommodate the increasing numbers. Finding parking spaces in the designated campus areas has become an even greater struggle with students commenting that “I’m trying to find parking or I had to park far away” is currently a valid excuse for being a few minutes late to class.

Nonetheless, Dean Lapp states that there are currently no expansion plans underway for the campus but rather that the school is keen on pursuing alternative means of adjusting to the increased population. As he emphasizes, “This is no crisis just community, with the additional students adding to the intellectual enrichment of the campus.”

Faculty Senate Recommends Against Proposed Institute, Citing Concerns with Koch Foundation Support

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The Faculty Senate of Babson College, constituted in 2008 to represent faculty in communication with college administration, recently recommended against establishing an “Institute of Prosperity Studies,” rejecting up to $10 million in proposed funding. The Faculty Senate was especially concerned with the initial donation to the school, which came from Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a strong financial supporter of the Republican Party.  The Senate cited ethical concerns with accepting money from the Koch Foundation and were concerned with Babson’s name being associated with the Koch Foundation.

The Senate’s recommendation against the Institute of Prosperity Studies was approved as a response to a request by Provost Michael Johnson for input on the issue. The response reaffirmed “the academic freedom of professors to engage in whatever research projects they wish, and to pursue individual funding to support that research,” but in the end, recommended “that the college not move forward with the proposed Institute of Prosperity Studies.” The Senate was deeply concerned about establishing an “explicit institutional association” with the Charles Koch Foundation, which they implied was “linked to specific political and/or ideological causes.”

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.

Events calendar: November 3-12, 2015

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Upcoming events

Babson club life has always been vibrant and bustling with activities. Below are some upcoming events:

Come learn about Babson BRIC, the Cornerstone of the New Global Economy fall semester abroad program. The information session is November 5th, 5:00-6:30 PM, Tomasso 303

Being Here, Going Beyond: Paintings by Percy Fortini-Wright, artist talk and reception by a multiracial artist interested in combing diverse materials and imagery to create urban streetscapes and bold portraits of imaginary people that share a beautiful sense of movement and anticipation. Exhibition is on view from November 5th at 5:00 PM-January 8th in the Hollister Lobby.

PRIDE/ Student SafeZone Training, an ally training program for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning community, is being presented by Babson College staff on November 11th, 7:00 PM- 8:30 PM in Babson 203. Participate and receive a sticker to identify your space as a ‘Safe Zone’.

 

Things to do in Boston

Looking for things to do this weekend? The Free Press has some suggestions to explore, alone or with friends:

Second Annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship of All Kinds, connect with a diverse group including startups, nonprofits, and corporate leaders. Listen to the innovative stories from Boston Public Market, Rapid7, PillPack, and more on November 3rd at 6:00 PM.

Photoshop Workshop, learn essential digital image editing techniques, foundation skills needed for retouching and image editing, as well as create high quality images. Take this course at the American Graphics Institute on 120 Presidential Way Woburn, MA 0180. November 2nd 9 AM- November 3rd 4:30 PM, Admission required (includes curriculum, materials, and all computer and lab fees).

Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week with Women of Mass Challenge, at the Women Founders Quick- Fire Challenge. This event will engage members of the audience through group brainstorming and highlight the growth challenges of four women-led startups. Build your network and celebrate the art of entrepreneurship quick-fire style on November 12th, 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM, 21 Drydock Avenue, 6th Floor Boston.

           

Massachusetts debates new environmental bill

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In September, thousands of people gathered in New York City for Climate Week. With a renewed focus on climate change, politicians are introducing legislation like Massachusetts’ S.1747. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org.

The world is changing, but this isn’t anything new. Dating back to the 1950’s, citizens started raising concerns over the effects of soil destruction, deforestation, industrial waste, and emissions. This issue, which is described by some as the largest crisis humans have ever encountered, was put on the back burner during the 2008 financial crisis. Today, the issues of global warming and environmental destruction are returning to the forefront as a major topic in local, national and international politics.

Massachusetts has already established itself as a leader in the war against global warming, but a bill, “S.1747: An Act Combating Cimate Change,” put forth by State Senator Michael J. Barrett, could be the first of its kind in the USA. The bill would establish what is commonly referred to as a carbon tax, although what is truly a fee because the money does not enter the general revenue and is directly returned to taxpayers. The fee would be levied upon the wholesale price of fossil fuels, thereby increasing the price of heating and transportation for Massachusetts residents. However, residents would then receive a check from the state government from the incomes of the carbon fee. Under this plan, people who rely heavily on fossil fuels would lose money overall, and those with fewer emissions would come out ahead.

The Committee for a Green Economy, an environmentalist group, hired a bi-partisan economic consulting firm, Regional Economic Models Inc., to study the impacts of a carbon fee on the Massachusetts economy. The study concluded that a carbon fee would boost the state’s economic activity by as much as $8 billion by lowering income, sales, and corporate taxes.

While Barrett’s current plan returns revenue to citizens slightly differently, through a direct check instead of lowering taxes, the study does show strong support for a carbon fee. Another report sponsored by the Department of Energy Resources concluded that a “revenue neutral” carbon fee like Barrett’s would be an effective way of cutting carbon pollutants, lowering emissions by five to ten percent and helping Massachusetts achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Barrett’s bill continues to gain support, with 40 senators or representatives, a fifth of the Legislature, co-signing the bill.

Currently, S.1747 is being debated by the Massachusetts Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, and many locals are pushing for a favorable vote. A crowd of business and faith leaders, citizens, environmental groups, civic organizations and economists, including Tufts economist Frank Ackerman and MIT economist Chris Knittel, voiced support for Barrett’s bill on November 5.

Candidates’ support or opposition to the deal will be an important indicator for voters in 2016. The candidates are divided on this issue. Some candidates, such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, have made the environment and sustainability a key issue in their platform, and others, such as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have a history of support for environmental policies—but there are candidates that would oppose many extreme efforts to combat climate change.

The upcoming weeks have the potential to change environmental policies locally and globally, and as these policies change, so will business. If a carbon fee is enacted in Massachusetts, consumers and businesses will change their spending habits. If a truly influential commitment is set by 190 nations around the globe, then large corporations will have to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

With Massachusetts considering the nation’s first carbon tax in the state legislature and with the Paris Environmental Summit just around the corner, the decisions made in the next few months will impact business, and the world, for decades.

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.

Administration Response to Increased Student Body

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One effect of welcoming the biggest class size in Babson’s history is stretched resources, and administration is working with the community to help alleviate the congestion.

45 minutes of last week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting was dedicated to identifying impacts of increasing student population. Dean Ward asked for feedback from the senators and students:

  1. What observations do students have related to more students being on campus?
  2. What impact (positive, negative, or otherwise) do larger numbers of students at Babson have on the student experience?
  3. What areas have been impacted the most? Academic? Dining, Housing, Etc?
  4. What changes, recommendations, or guidance do students have for me as Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA)/Dean Of Students (DOS)?

Common concerns are: the lack of study spaces and housing, long queues at meal times, classes and registration availability, and decrease parking spaces.

In response to lack of study spaces, Dean Lapp sent out an email with additional reserved study spaces in Gerber and Reynolds earlier this week. A suggestion to decrease Reynolds and Trim congestion is to offer optional meal plans to students living with kitchens in their dorm rooms (such as suites and doubles in Putney and Bryant). Dean Ward is working on updating the Registration system and identifying more solutions.

In addition, many students also expressed positive impacts of an increasing student body; more First Year students are using campus resources like the Writing Center, Center for Career Development, and other administrative offices.

While more students may mean more financial resources, these financial resources need to be effectively allocated; and sometimes, more money does not equal to more space. We all need to work together as a community to find solutions to this positive change at Babson.

If you have any ideas or feedback about this issue or any other issue, please voice your thoughts through your class senator or come to a SGA meeting on Wednesdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in Trim 201/202; everyone is welcomed!

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Tips to finding your own study space on campus:

  • Spend an hour to walk around every building on campus; explore every nook to find a comfortable space that works for you because everyone has different requirements. Even in the library, I have specific spots that make me more productive than others.
  • Don’t forget classroom buildings like Olin Hall, Luksic, Tomasso, etc.
  • Ask upperclassmen for their favorite study spaces
  • Use Babson’s EMS System to book rooms ahead of time. You can book classrooms and conference rooms too!

Additional Study Spaces:

  • Olin Hall classrooms and common areas
  • Tomasso third floor exists a nice conference room (if it’s not being used)
  • Luksic hallway that leads into Blank Center
  • Blank Center first floor
  • Babson Hall also has a big, nice conference room that is usually free
  • Hollister lobby area has a great table and study space
  • Reynolds, Horn, Trim (obviously)
  • Your favorite classroom (or any classroom if it’s not being used)
  • Sorenson second floor
  • Glavin Chapel (when it’s not being used)
  • Any residence hall’s common room
  • West Hall’s innovation center, study rooms, and tall tables