Community Discussion on Student Involvement in University Governance

Community Discussion on Student Involvement in University Governance
Minutes from meeting on April 7, 2010. See Video. 

  • Students are already participating in many university committees, but there needs to be more participation. Students need to be more assertive and proactive.
  • Publicize the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities approved by the Senate last year.
  • Complete and submit for Senate approval the Student Grievance Document.
  • Increase the number of student representatives in the Senate.
  • Create a policy for student representatives to attend and have a voice in departmental meetings, particularly regarding course offerings and academics.
  • Increase student participation in the current mechanisms we have before establishing new ones -- increase the amount and quality of participation in the Senate. Students should develop issues at the beginning of the academic year, relating to academics and services. They could be integrated into the elections as part of the SU President’s mandate, and the Senate and other bodies could incorporate these issues into their annual agendas.
  • Expand on the FYE and tell new students about the possibility of participating in governance. Courses should discuss civic engagement and community service.
  • Students should increase their participation in course evaluations but they need an incentive. An incentive could be to see results and to reward people with the best evaluation. People involved in community service on campus could be given credit-hours to encourage further participation.
  • Increase transparency between students and the administration. The SU is a link between the admin and students, but we’ve been acting as a messenger. Our role should be to ensure cooperation to make sure students are more involved.
  • Create a newsletter by the administration to show what it’s doing and establish a forum-like event every semester.  Communicate survey results and ensure that they translate into change and implementation. We could email all auc when survey results are available and give the url. Communicate results of this forum -- what actions were taken as a result of the feedback and comments. Establish a place where we can get information on processes and policies. The Student Center is only informally aware of what goes on around campus.
  • Create an ombudsman office to clear grievances.
  • Give student organizations complete financial independence from university administration. Students should be independent as much as possible from the administration, to show that they can get involved and have a say. Checks to student organizations should be issued at the beginning of the year for the entire year.
  • There’s a feeling of apathy here – there isn’t a sense of community or transparency, and until we fix these, they won’t trust the administration or faculty.