free press article (unedited)

babson has started off the year on a very competitive step. we’re the “hottest” business school ranked by kaplan and in the top 25 overall colleges. we’re all over the interwebs, we were in newsweek a few weeks ago. congratulations to the professors and students that have got us this far as well as the administrators and sga (the biggest of props to dean hanno) that have helped provide the infrastructure to do so.

but if there is anything that i want to say right now it is to warn of the evils of apathy. apathy has run rampant on the babson campus for a number of reasons. in the past some people have been disappointed with babson so they choose to not take part in the community. right now some people might be apathetic towards getting involved because they see no needs: we are already the hottest, why bother changing anything?

and i know it is the nature of a business school that most people here are involved in jobs and other extracurricular pursuits, too often we feel to busy to do anything for anyone else. but this is a truly toxic habit to get into. as you sit idly by, letting other people write articles for the free press, letting other people create or manage clubs, as other people run your student government, babson is losing your intelligent observation.

you, of course, might not care. i think that there are too many people on campus that think babson is good enough, so they just don’t care about getting involved. and it is those people that i believe are truly toxic to the babson environment – not the people that cry foul over babson’s shortcomings (the complainers, the bloggers.)

i honestly believe that you need to push your institution just as much as it pushes you. if you don’t – then we won’t remain on top for long. we need to demand to be able take whatever course that is about whatever and available whenever we want, because damnit you know you need that course in your life. and if that course doesn’t exist at babson, we need to look to olin and wellesley, we need to send your class dean emails (several, keep that in mind) about what you want to see happen to your school. because if we don’t then we will fall back into simple complacency, we will be replaced by the hundreds of other business schools jockeying for that “hottest” status.

you see, if you want to wear that ‘hottest’ tshirt – you got to work for it.

this is something i’ve tried to do through my involvement with the crapcampus/oclruinedmycampuslife website where i have written under the names firebarefoot and elliot. yes, it was done semi-anonymously and yes it’ll stay that way for now because no, it doesn’t matter who i am. (though, i’ll be the first to admit i have made mistakes in my judgement. my apologies, Mr. Barefoot – sincerely) i’m just an undergrad at babson and i’d like to maintain the right to feel free to type pretty much whatever the hell i want. i guess you could call that bad, immature, maybe even dangerous or – destructive? – but i’m young and dumb and i don’t care. i just like to write these words.

and if you don’t like it, write to the newspaper. they want to hear what you think. if you want it published, write it well. dean hanno is loved for a reason: he communicates.

babson’s a good school – perhaps even great. but there are still problems with babon’s education, just like in any ivy league school. it’s everybody’s responsibility to do their part to make sure these problems are solved – we need people that point out problems as well as people that fix problems. the good news is that there are a lot of people here at this school trying to do just that. you can thank them for their work and honor them by continuing it yourself – or you can be a prick and not care.

don’t be a prick.

you have 30 mins free. do you spend it doing good… or doing awesome?

do awesome. go to the class of 2008 art show / silent auction in trim.

i know i don’t ask for much, usually just the resignation of poor administrators and a more responsible college, but i’m asking the students today for something. the show’s in trim, in case you don’t have a meal plan and missed the emails in the flood that is babson email. it features the coolest people in the entire school. which is no lie because i calculated it in excel. i’m asking, pleading, getting down on my kneeing, for you to submit some bids for artwork. Read more »

A Better Babson is a More Transparent Babson

This is a problem that has been expressed by students and faculty alike: we simply know so little about where this school is heading. the strategic plan that Babson currently has available publicly is from 2003. (Plus, it doesn’t mention anything about helping out poor kids – so if you’re poor, theres no room for you at Babson.) in this age of business schools (and I’m sure barefoot would certainly agree) things change very fast. when you’re a student, or a faculty member, at a school like Babson, which tells you practically nothing about how or why they’re changing (or not changing) … well, then you feel like you’re riding Wonka’s boat ride in the Charlie and the chocolate factory:

there’s no knowing where we’re rowing
or which way the river’s flowing
is it raining?
is it snowing?
is a hurricane a-blowing?
not a speck of light is showing
so the the danger must be growing

With that in mind, i got an interesting email this week from barefoot (a very rare occurrence.) Guess what, friends, we’re getting suggestion boxes. finally, it seems, that barefoot is getting the message: the administration needs to communicate more (and not just to the SGA.) and, i really have to be honest – these boxes seem to be part of a recent, positive trend in the administration. they are communicating more, i assure you. and i am not drinking (heavily.)

but these boxes are a somewhat trite way of going about it. i mean, thanks – i will certainly use them. but it’s painfully obvious that this is the perfect solution for the administration. we write down their dirty little secrets and put them in a dark box and then we have no idea whether or not they are listened to or acted on or whatever. the administration loves these little boxes, especially those made of ticky-tacky that can withhold the rather (human) fact that they might not have implemented the best education system possible. (or, to put it graphically, fucked up magnificently.)
Read more »

Babson Diversity and Social Life

my biggest concern about babson is the lack of any real diversity on campus. and no, i’m not talking about racial diversity. i know i’ll be debated by this but i think this school is seriously lacking in economic diversity. if you think it doesn’t matter – look at the difference between a rich white kid and a poor white kid, or a rich black kid and a poor black kid. i propose that the rich white kid and the rich black kid have more in common then they do with their less fortunate counterparts.

take a walk through our parking lots – count the benz, bmws and audis. (full disclosure: i drive a camry – with a hole in the bumper.) i’m not trying to hate on anyone with a good car – believe me, i’m jealous and wouldn’t turn down a ride. i’m just concerned about the future of babson if it is made up of (mostly) well off students. if babson truly wants to become a world class business school then it desperately needs to start attracting more students from the middle and low income classes.

why do i feel that this is important?

if this school is largely made up of students from high income families, then most ideas coming out of babson will be directed towards … high income consumers. now that’s all well and good, but there are millions of business ideas out there that don’t cater to the affluent.

i’m not trying to hate on anybody that has their eyes set on the luxury goods market (props to anyone that tries to start something, regardless of what you sell.) but really – is the best babson can do? i want babson to foster more innovative businesses who are focused on consumers outside of this wellesley bubble that we live in. i want to see more nonprofits, more socially conscious businesses. i want to see fme companies using their community service requirements by pairing with hatchery businesses. there are people at babson that are doing just this – putting their high priced education to help less fortunate people, but (maybe its just me) these people seem to be few and far between.

i’m not saying that low and middle class kids will always come up with altruistic business plans – they can be just as selfish as rich kids can be. and i’m not saying that rich kids can’t come up with an altruistic business plans either. i’m just saying that if we don’t have those low and middle class kids in our fme classes and what not, we’ll never hear their voice. if we never hear their voice then we’ll never get the best education possible. you did pay a first rate tuition for a first rate education, right?

i have no idea how possible this is with college located in wellesley, mass. i know that babson’s current financial status is … how to put it nicely? … distressed? (exhibit a: how many alums support our school? i come from a private high school where 50% of alums give money every year.) it might take 10, 20, 50 years to correct these diversity issues that i think hinder babson (and if you disagree – lets get a conversation going then.) that’s okay. but for the love of god, i hope someone in this institution is doing something to help get it started: increasing our need blind admission rates, offering tuition reductions for low income families – whatever it takes.

anyway, that’s my major problem with babson. now for something that can actually change babson while i’m still here. maybe.

it’s pretty much universally agreed on that babson’s social scene is lackluster at best. the best thing you can do here is leave. boston is a great city, but it’s expensive to park, to pay for taxis, and hell – the t stops way too early for a proper night out. babson really should get a much better bus system going. look at wellesley, they bus students to harvard and mit routinely. though it’s true that they have a billion in the bank, i can’t imagine that it would cost that much to rent a school bus one or two nights a week and have it drive around boston on a predetermined route. hell, i’d even pay for a ride if i knew that it’d pick me up when the bars close.

yes, this can be considered a drain on the social life on our campus if we just bus everyone off campus – but having more options is almost guaranteed to produce happier students. and barefoot (are you even listening?) – happier students will donate more.

just to close, i strongly support crapcampus as a forum for babson students to express themselves publicly about babson’s flaws (and benefits, as well.)

anyway, thanks for reading this long winded diatribe, my sincere apologies if i offended anyone,

fire barefoot

Prof is watching! Look busy!