Book Review: ID Student Handbook 2007-2008

by New Idiom


We here at the New Idiom are constantly thinking about what information will be the most valuable to our readers and what they will have fun reading. So, when we saw the new ID Student Handbook for 2007-2008, we thought “We know our readers, and our readers would never want to read that. They would, however, like to be able to say that they know what is in it.” (You guys are real know-it-alls.) So we did the dirty work, read the whole thing cover to cover, and published the best bits here along with handy page references.

In the past, the Institute of Design has relied largely on an oral tradition to pass on pertinent information about registration and the connection to our parent institution, IIT. The new school year brings a new attempt to open up that set of information for all (as well as alleviate the burden on the staff of answering these questions over and over). This ID Student Handbook 2007-2008 is a nice beginning, but it doesn’t really delve deeply in to the information that we as ID students need on a daily basis. It just so happens that this job is handled by the IDwiki. As such, this handbook gives a solid foundation of the information that a student (especially a new one) needs to navigate the giant turtle named “Bureaucracy”, as well as find the perfect person to answer those tough questions about school, life, classes and beyond.

One of those questions that has been asked numerous times over the years has finally been answered clearly: “Who owns the work we produce here at ID?.” Check pg 30 for that answer. Hint: It is not you, not exactly. The book wraps up with “The Fine Print,” (Pg 34-43) and they were not kidding! We are talking 5-6 point type that is difficult to read and actually quite boring. Trust me, I read it so that you don’t have to. It basically says what you all already know, “No cheating, no discrimination and no drugs allowed,” but there are some more details about filing complaints, incomplete courses and emergency contact info that might be useful in some situations.

For your convenience, the New Idiom staff read the entire Handbook, cover to cover, and selected the following as the 10 most useful items. We also found a few things missing.

Top 10 Most Useful Things in the IDSH ‘07-‘08:

  1. (Pg 5 & 17) The student ambassadors’ and Rachel Smother’s contact info. Really, just talk to Rachel. She loves company and is the most helpful person at ID. The others are helpful too, but less informed usually.
  2. (Pg 5-16) The full names of all of ID’s staff and faculty. If you have ever been lost when someone tells you to call Emmanuel or ask Hugh, this is your resource.
  3. (Pg 5 & 21) ID Facilities Management contact - Speaking of Emmanuel. This is who you talk to about reserving a room, lockers, desks, security cards, etc.
  4. (Pg 44-45)  ID Academic schedule. Juicy tidbits like, when b-session begins or Labor Day vacation (That is this Monday, September 3. No classes!).
  5. (Pg 27) How to check you main campus IIT email. It is highly recommended that you log in at least once to forward this to your ID email. On occasion, very important notices are sent to this address, especially regarding your student accounts and registration.
  6. (Pg 4) The phone number of the front desk at ID. Sometimes you just really need to talk to someone at ID.
  7. (Pg 21) How to find and contact the International office on main campus. This office is one of the only reasons that ID students go to main campus during the school year.
  8. (Pg 32-33) How to register for classes, and who to call if you have a hold on your IIT student account.
  9. (Pg 3) The history of our fine institution. This is useful when telling your grandmother what you are doing now.
  10. (Pg 29) How to get free “Approved adhesive dots, tapes and proper markers… at the reception desk free of charge.” This really should be #1 on the list.

A few things were notably missing from the IDSH ‘07-‘08:

  1. Lack of tech and computer set-up info. Luckily, this is all found on seeID mylinks > FAQ.
  2. No course description info. Again check the IDwiki and seeID for this, but this info is notoriously absent. The situation is improving, but pressure your professors to be better about posting this for us and for their own benefit.
  3. Recycled paper, soy-based inks, biodegradable binding.
  4. A .pdf version accessible from the ID homepage.
  5. A picture of Rachel!

Lastly, if you did not get your copy earlier this week, I am sure that the receptionist on the 4th floor can help you find your copy. Have a good semester, and happy reading.