The first few months of our Officers term have seen a flurry of activity as we begin our year at PBHA, working to help ensure we leave the association we all know and love better than we found it. Officers this year are excited to be pursuing goals rooted in ensuring community voice and engagement in all of our programs, building relationships between our programs and other programs on campus that are also focused in on service, advocacy, and social justice.
After onboarding this year’s Officer’s team through the Non-Profit Management Intensive, PBHA hit the ground running at the beginning of the semester. We held an Open House in the first week of the spring semester. It was a both celebration of those already engaged in the challenging work of social justice and an invitation for those looking for ways to empower others to do so in thoughtful, intentional ways. This spring was our second semester using PBHA’s Common Application. The Common Application was designed to ensure all relevant volunteer data is entered into our database to ensure program quality, and also to make sure that any student interested in doing service on campus will find a home in one of our programs.
This spring also saw the second semester of a Cabinet structure piloted to better allow our Cabinet to function as PBHA’s governing body. More frequent meetings (once every two weeks) have ensured that Cabinet is kept better apprised of opportunities for our organization to take a stand, as we did through our recent endorsement of the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act, and to shape the vision for PBHA’s development over the next five years through our Strategic Priorities.
The Officers team is also working hard to develop systems and supports that make PBHA more navigable at all levels and to ingrain these systems such that they become a permanent part of PBHA’s culture. Our team is working to develop a Communications Tree to bring together all of the materials one might need at a volunteer, director, and officer level. We’re also working through building more opportunities for reflection into PBHA, and to develop a comprehensive bias reporting system. We’ve continued our work to make PBHA sustainable through a multitude of fundraising efforts, and have, as we do every year, built a comprehensive budget for the organization and approved it through our Board of Trustees.
Finally, we’re working to continue building up a culture of appreciation that helps differentiate PBHA from all other organizations on campus. On April 28th, we will hold our 16th Annual Public Service Celebration, where volunteers from all current class years are recognized for the incredible work they do in the fight for social justice. We will also hold a Volunteer Appreciation Barbeque, another opportunity for our volunteers to come together, reflect on their service experiences both over the course of the semester and over the course of their undergraduate careers, all the while enjoying amazing food and getting to know volunteers with other PBHA programs.
We’re looking forward to continuing our journey to ensure that PBHA is better by the end of our year than it was when we began. We have already faced some significant challenges, and I anticipate us facing more in the months to come. And yet, we’ve been able to come together as a team and work with one another to ensure the best outcome possible for our constituents, our volunteers, our directors, and all other members of our PBHA family. I look forward to being able to reflect on all the triumphs and setbacks of our year at the end of the fall, but until then, I’ll see you around PBHA.
Yours most sincerely,
Phillips Brooks House Association 2017