During the 2008 – 2009 academic year, Draper student Myong Yee Chin initiated the Draper Forums–small, informal discussion groups for Draper students seeking discussion opportunities outside of classes. Myong describes the Forums below:
Draper Forums are small, informal discussion groups for Draper students to ask questions and exchange ideas. We began meeting in January 2009, once or twice a week, for about 45 minutes in the evening after class. Membership is open: any Draper student can join in at any time. So far, topics discussed have included interdisciplinarity, mapping, translation, and literature and science, as well as practical concerns for master’s students, such as how to present at an academic conference.
I started the Forums to address a lack of opportunities for Draper students to come together for serious, but unguarded, discussion. The Forums are also meant to create a greater sense of community for students within Draper. The meetings are low-obligation and do not require advance preparation. With very simple topic prompts, we aim for a free flow of conversation that does not find an outlet in courses or other formal academic venues.
The Forums will continue in the fall semester, possibly with adjustments or expansions to the format. We may create separate groups with thematic or formal definitions, such as a thesis writing support group. The development of the Forums largely depends on the people involved, so please feel free to give your input! We have opened a blog where you can find contact information, a meeting schedule, and recaps of previous meetings: dsoforum.wordpress.com.
Myong Yee Chin is a first semester Draper student who is also in the dual degree program at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science. Interested in researching the history of the book and book arts, Myong is a graduate assistant at Fales Library and is pursuing a concentration in Rare Books and Special Collections at Palmer. She will be taking over as the Draper Student Organization president for the upcoming 2009 – 2010 academic year.