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Cameron Bates - Spring 2015

Cameron Bates

This semester saw an emphasis of what TBP really is - a club. An emphasis on officer bonding, greater social outreach, and varied intersocietal events helped TBP shed its reputation as a nerdy honor society and instead develop a reputation as a cool kid honor society. In addition, we introduced new events to create a closer tie with Berkeley engineering students and faculty.

Spring 2015 was a fantastic semester! Rather than look at it holistically, I’ll break it down in order to analyze each aspect of the semester, as well as find areas of improvement.

Officer bonding was closer this semester than any semester prior. The relocation of “GetBent” to a Facebook chat to which all officers were subscribed made it much easier to organize informal events outside of official TBP events. This led to an increase in officer events, poorly decorated birthday cakes, awful inside jokes, and the #1 metric of a successful social life in college, alcohol consumption. Although three of these were unanimous pluses, the inside jokes actually may have served as a barrier to entry for some of the newer officers, creating cliques between more senior officers and newer officers.

Great energy was spent to improve TBP’s image on campus. New social events such as intersocietal Capture the Flag and Fall 2015’s Pies for Poverty gave TBP a fun-loving, social image that was important leading up to candidate meeting. We trialed Professor Pastimes, a Ted-Talk style lecture series about professors’ personal hobbies, in order to develop a stronger, more personal relationship with Berkeley faculty and to bridge the gap between student and professor. In order to directly help students, we finally implemented our syllabus collection bank. All of these additions were carefully structured to reach an important balance between professionalism and fun. People already know that TBP members are smart - it’s important to also demonstrate that TBP is a community, since most younger students are looking to join clubs to meet people, not because of a line on their resume.

Our IndRel committee continued to get dolla billz, improving our new partnership system in order to take advantage of TBP’s large outreach to the campus community. We now have company sponsors on our apparel and website, further improving our legitimacy, bringing in a larger cash flow, and strengthening our industry connections beyond holding a single event. Notably, we were able to partner with Microsoft for this year’s Puzzle Challenge! I think this could be the start of many non-traditional events that TBP can co-host - after all, these events often draw much higher student interest than traditional infosessions, and they are often more rewarding for the company that hosts them.

We made great strides towards 501(c)3 incorporation this semester (again). We turned in our articles of incorporation (again), got officially incorporated (again), and tasked specific officers to finish the process of declaring non-profit status. Simultaneously, Pioneers in Engineering, our metaphorical tech-loving nerdy son, left the house, went to college, then dropped out and formed a startup. His startup is doing great, it’s already a LLC! By that I mean they’re also moving towards 501(c)3 status, utilizing a pro bono lawyer which has greatly expedited their process.

Important Contributions and New Traditions

  • An officer Facebook chat, largely for the organization of informal events.
  • Professor Pastimes, a TED-style lecture series by Berkeley faculty
  • The publishing of the new course syllabus database on the TBP website
  • An expansion of our midterm Cookie Supports
  • Greater utilization of the IndRel sponsorship system
  • Close tracking of officer birthdays, including birthday cakes for any officers whose birthdays overlapped with officer meetings