Shared governance meetings require DASB senator participation, guidance

Ella Shih, Staff Reporter

Acting DASB Vice President and president-elect Shelly Michael said DASB senators have a responsibility to attend shared governance meetings.

At the May 13 academic senate meeting, Foothill-De Anza Student Trustee Genevieve Kolar and Inter Club Council Chairperson Rex Zhang presented a document titled “Best Practices for Student Voices in Shared Governance,” a guideline for student representatives to work within different bureaucracies.

The document details the responsibilities for committees and committee chairs to mentor student representatives.

Mentorship has been in place for a while and now DASB will try to institutionalize it, said Robert Stockwell, political science professor.

Karen Chow, academic senate president, said academic senate faculty members including Robert Stockwell and Mary Donahue mentor students

Cynthia Kaufman, director of the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, said the mentorship is “pretty rare in colleges.”

The document was later presented but not endorsed by the DASB senate at the May 29 meeting.

However, not all committees have student representatives who submit written reports.

“No one has ever submitted a written report ever,” said Kolar.

Kaufman said students are not participating because the meetings are hard to understand without help.

“This can be difficult for everybody. Subject matter can be complicated and difficult, but we all can do homework,” said Stockwell.

Director of College Life Hyon Chu Yi-Baker said it is not difficult since the committee advertises their events.

Michael said if no senators can attend shared governance meetings, bylaw changes would allow students who are not senators to apply and attend in their place.

Faculty also expect students go to the meetings regularly, be prepared, get feedback from other groups and report back to DASB, prompting further discussion.

“Student voices are truly represented in the shared governance,” said Baker. “That is the ultimate goal.”