CC now seeking student-faculty committee noms

College Council (CC) is currently seeking nominations from students for positions on a number of student-faculty committees for next year. These committees are responsible for affecting change in areas ranging from student life to the dining halls. They also afford an opportunity for student-faculty interaction outside of the classroom and thus hold an important position in the community.

There are five categories of committees: Financial Policy, Social Planning and Policy, Community and Campus Life Policy, Academic Life and Campus Services. Each category has between one and eight committees associated with it, all of which perform a variety of tasks. The committees with the most responsibilities mostly fall under the Financial Policy and Community and Campus Life Policy categories.

In the past, appointments to the Finance Committee, Committee on Diversity and Community, Committee on Educational Policy and Committee on Undergraduate Life have been among the most highly competitive, according to Mike Henry ’04, CC co-President. “Through a large publicity campaign,[CC co-President Chin Ho ’04] and I hope to increase the number of submissions for all committees this year and therefore make the selection process more competitive,” Henry said.

Henry explained that the process of selecting the best candidates for positions on the committees is not taken lightly by the council. “It is priority for us to give the self-nomination of every applying candidate ample and serious consideration,” he said.

On the weekend the nominations are received, the Appointments Committee of CC will read all the self-nominations carefully. During the next week, the committee will meet several times for four hours at a time to discuss the nominations, taking blocks of time to talk about each committee. After discussion is finished, the committee will vote, with every member voting for each student position available on the committee. Both nominations and individual voting are kept confidential within the Appointments Committee.

In order to increase the fairness of the process, CC is looking into making the discussion of the nominations name-blind, where students’ names and classes are temporarily removed from the nominations. “In such a system, names would be revealed on an open basis only after each self-nomination was addressed adequately,” Henry said. “This system would help to reduce the chance that a candidate will be selected simply because he or she is well known within the Appointments Committee.”

A number of important responsibilities are delegated to the committees, which in the past have been able to affect real change on campus. Their accomplishments include getting the dining halls to offer more ethnic and vegetarian options, creating a DVD library in Sawyer, changing the room draw size from eight to four, implementing a blind draw, eliminating summer storage in dormitories and fighting to keep Winter Study in the academic calendar.

Henry said that he wants the committees to take an even larger role: “Chin and I hope to make the committee system even more effective by increasing communication between committees and CC and facilitating communication between committees and the student body by way of a committee digest listing brief committee minutes/summaries to be distributed on dining hall tables on a regular basis,” he said.

There have been a few changes in the committee system this year. The Student Centers Management Team (SCMT) will have student positions open for the first time this year. The SCMT combines the responsibilities of the old Log and Goodrich Committees, which were made obsolete by the formation of All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) last year and the resulting consolidation of social planning and policy. According to Henry, the new SCMT will determine policy for Goodrich and the Log, oversee the budgets for these facilities and hire new student center managers when necessary.

Overall, the size and responsibilities of the committees have remained fairly constant this year and each will continue to carry out its various responsibilities throughout the course of the 2003-2004 school year.

Anyone interested in applying for the committees can get further information from Henry or Ho. Self-nominations may be submitted to S.U. Box 1016 or to selfnoms@wso.williams.edu by this Friday at 4 p.m.