Student Senate tackled several issues during last Sunday's open meeting. Along with a final discussion concerning the Ohio Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), Senate was requested to find students to serve on the search committee for the Dean of Student Life. A slate of student members was also appointed to various campus wide committees.
Despite the seeming lack of support for the amendment that OPIRG lobbied last Sunday, and the second by senator junior Aaron Slodounik, a third version was passed within the first 10 minutes of Senate. According to senator junior BJ Renteria, many senators had problems with the wording of the first two amendments. After meeting with a majority of the senators, however, the third amendment was worded to everyone's satisfaction and passed by a unanimous vote.
Following the speedy resolution of the OPIRG referendum, President Nancy Dye approached Senate asking them to find two students, possibly three, to sit on the search committee for a new Dean of Student Life and Services. The search is for a permanent replacement for Interim Dean Deb McNish. Not only will the two students provide the five faculty members on the search committee with the students' perspective, they will also be full voting members of the committee. The students will help complete a job description of the position. "[This] will be a complicated conversation," stressed Dye as she remarked on the need of the student members to be committed to the process.
Dye left after submitting a list of students for consideration.
Senate was not pleased with Dye's mention of having only two students on the search committee. In reference to Dye's remark concerning the need for diversity of the students selected, senator sophomore Amy Pandjiris said, "I think a diverse representation of two students is misleading."
Associate Dean of Student Life and Services Bill Stackman agreed. "Five people on the committee sounds reasonable," he said. His remark was in support of Senate's final decision to request that four to five students be placed on the committee.
Senate will continue to publicize for applications for the search committee and should be finished before Thanksgiving. Open dialogue between Dye and Senate will be maintained throughout the selection process. Senate will be active in the interview process and eventually decide which students will fill the seats.
Following the search committee discussion, a slate of students who will sit on various campus committees was approved. Every year senate appoints members to the committees of General Faculty, College Faculty, Conservatory Faculty and Administration.
Half of the members are appointed in the spring and half in the fall through an open interview process. The members are appointed to ensure student input in every committee and as a liaison with the student body. A listing of the slate approved is available in the Senate office.
The agenda for next week's session includes a proposal on the focus of Senate. Co-authors senator junior Sarah Fineberg and senator junior Sam Taylor are proposing to have senate work together on one specific project every few weeks. "There's nothing that we do all together," Fineberg said as to her reasoning behind the proposal. "We are hoping to add something on top of [what we do currently] to make ourselves more noticeable and more effective."
Senate has not worked as a collective group on any specific project up to now and the hope is to make the senators more unified. Fineberg also hopes that the student body will become more aware of what Senate does and for Senate to get more big projects accomplished. The proposal will include a form which will allow outside groups to ask Senate for its support on a specific project.
The selection of student members for the search committee for the new Dean of Student Life is the recommended project that Senate will focus on for the next few weeks.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 8, November 6, 1998
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