Text of Dowling Committee Report

Page 3 of 8

The House Committees are viewed as very effective for dealing with local House issues and social affairs. They are less effective for providing a forum for discussion of University-wide issues. Some House Committees require the CHUL, ERG-CUE, and Student Assembly representatives to report regularly to them on current issues; others do not. Some House Committees circulate the minutes of their meetings to all House members; others do not.

Freshman Council

The Freshman Council includes representatives from each dormitory. It too is most effective in organizing social events. It supervises elections of freshman representatives to faculty-student committees and has sponsored a successful speakers' series. Primarily a service organization, its attention is most focused [sic] on issues in the freshman year.

Standing Committees

There are eight Standing Committees that have student representatives. These include the Committees on Advising and Counseling, Athletics, Shareholder Responsibility, Rights and Responsibilities, Dramatics, Use of Human Subjects, and Hazardous Biological Research, and the Library. In addition, the Core Curriculum Committee and the Core Curriculum subcommittees have undergraduate members as do virtually all of the Undergraduate Committees of the Departments.

The number of student representatives varies between the various committees but averages between two and three. The method of selection of the student members also varies widely. Some representatives are selected by the Chairman of the Committees (Use of Human Subjects; Library), the Dean of the College (Advising and Counseling) or by other means (Athletic, Dramatics, Hazardous Biological Research, Departmental). Some representatives are elected by the House Committees (Shareholder Responsibility, Rights and Responsibilities) or by the student members of CUE (Core and Core Subcommittees).

The Standing Committees with student representatives are viewed as useful and for the most part successful. The one exception is the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities which has been boycotted by students for the past several years (we will discuss this issue in a later section.) However, communication between the various standing Committees and students-at-large is poor; few students know the issues being discussed in the various Standing Committees and the student body provides virtually no organized input to the Committees. The variable selection procedures to the various committees are not widely known, and it is felt that there would be much more interest in these groups if election or selection procedures were regularized and more information concerning their activities made available.

III. Problems of Existing Organization

Our review of the various committees concerned with college governance revealed a series of issues that any reformation of existing student governance structures must take into account. These may be grouped into eight areas and phrased as follows.

Accountability

Can information flow be improved from the various faculty-student committees back to the students-at-large? Conversely, can the amount of student input to these committees be increased?

College-wide Issues

Can better mechanism or forums for students-at-large to discuss the issues or concerns of the day be provided and can communication be improved so that this discussion is heard by those in appropriate positions?

Institutional Memory

Can procedures for passing on information and experience from one student generation to another be improved or instituted?