The Associated Students Senate University Affairs Committee published their first shared governance report from Fall 2014, documenting current issues and updates from different committees on campus.
The report relays discussions from A.S. student representatives who are part of Academic Senate Standing Committees, Administrative Advisory Committees and Governance Boards, and is meant to be inform both the administration and students. Some of the committees on campus that were reported on include the Arts & Lectures Advisory Committee, the Student Resource Building Governance Board and the Student Health Advisory Committee.
According to the report, some changes being discussed include the possibility of the Student Resource Building (SRB) Governance Board renaming the SRB to honor retiring Vice Chancellor Michael D. Young. Other changes include the Student Health Advisory Committee’s upcoming notice to students that next year the distance criteria for Gaucho Health Insurance will be extended to include Kaiser Permanente patients within 50 miles, and that the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Housing will release a report of a delay in the opening of the San Joaquin apartment projects.
Cassie Mancini, second-year history of public policy major and chair of the Senate University Affairs Committee, said Gaucho Health Insurance was a big issue that many students discussed during meetings.
“The limits of the distance requirement — that’s so prevalent,” Mancini said. “That was such a big issue and I know our committee reps have been pushing for it, so that’ll be good.”
Mancini said another important issue for students concerns work currently being done by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and their student representative Danielle Maldonado.
“Promotion of women and ensuring faculty and professors get promoted as often as men do and increasing women of color faculty on this campus, that’s a great issue that she’s [Maldonado] really pushing for,” Mancini said.
According to Mancini, this was the first time A.S. published a shared governance report, in an effort to hold student representatives accountable and to spread the word on new things that are occurring on campus.
A.S. President Ali Guthy said the report can be beneficial for students to know what is happening within administrative and advisory committees on campus.
“Often there is only one student representative or voice in these spaces, and student participation is critical to fulfilling the mission of shared governance on our campus and throughout the UC system,” Guthy said in an email. “This report is a fantastic new way of ensuring student representation and awareness in all of these spaces.”
Mancini said shared governance describes the collaborative efforts that are being made between students and staff on campus.
“The faculty and administrators of the school and students, as well, sharing in university governance and policy-making,” Mancini said. “It’s kind of a concept very unique to the UC system … At the core, it’s like this real sharing of duties between administrators and faculty and we’ve kind of come to have students work with that too.”
According to Mancini, the report was compiled using feedback provided by student representatives who sit on different committees that were appointed by the A.S. Committee on Committees.
“We ask the students to be really critical of everything that’s said in the committee and make sure they’re sharing the student perspective because oftentimes in these committees there’s only one student there,” Mancini said. “So it’s super important that the students engage with the committee and really become a member of it to kind of share their voice in the committee.”
Eve Kopecky, second-year English major and Shared Governance Coordinator for the Committee on Committees, said office hours will be held by the different committees and their representatives at the A.S. Main Office in the MultiCultural Center for students who have any questions about what is occurring on campus.
“We’re just trying to get up and going and started to be more proactive about shared governance,” Kopecky said. “So we’re really excited that everyone’s going to have their office hours and be able to just inform people, who they are and what they do.”
A copy of the A.S. Shared Governance Report can be accessed here.