SGA learns about badges for acquired skills, grants appeals

by Katherine Burns / Beacon Staff • February 26, 2015

Robert Sabal, the interim dean of the School of The Arts, met with the Student Government Association at its Feb. 19 meeting to discuss digital badges, or awards given to students for obtaining skills that can be displayed on online profiles.

Sabal said the badges would be digital images that Emerson students could receive to verify their expertise.

The badges would apply to skills like film editing, blogging, screenwriting, or photo editing, according to Sabal. These badges could then be displayed on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn as a supplement to a degree or the skills shown on a resume, according to Sabal.

“It allows for the kind of specificity that an undergraduate degree might not,” Sabal said.

Because Emerson students are so involved in extracurricular activities, Sabal said he wanted a way to reward work done outside of classes. The criteria for these badges, according to Sabal, would be determined by the Emerson community. Students would have to reach certain goals or achievements within their extracurricular activities to earn them.

“This is just the beginning of an idea,” Sabal said.

Sabal said he hopes to form a group designing the badges, and started with SGA to gauge interest. Sabal plans to give a more extensive presentation to SGA at a future meeting.

“This is the future of higher education,” said Sabal. “I’m absolutely convinced.”

On Feb. 24, SGA granted appeals from the sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi and Anime at Emerson to fund upcoming events.

Alpha Epsilon Phi asked for $11,578.35 for its annual charity fashion show Ribbons on the Runway. The event is expected to include a live auction, as opposed to the silent auction they have had in the past, according junior Sarah Stein, president of the sorority.

“We just want to get better and better from here,” said Stein, a marketing communication major, in the presentation.

Anime at Emerson also presented an appeal for $650 to go as an organization to Anime Boston, a convention. They estimated the total cost for each student would be approximately $132.60, including transportation and food, according to sophomore John Depa, Anime at Emerson president.

Both appeals were granted unanimously.