By Fabian Mayer, December 1 2015 —
Undergraduate representation on Haskayne’s faculty council has been cut to just one student.
The Haskayne Students’ Association, Students’ Union and Commerce Undergraduate Society urged council members in a joint letter to include the CUS president and SU business representatives as voting members. But the council decided at its November meeting to include only the HSA president as a voting member.
CUS president Zeid Ayoub thinks the result is unfortunate.
“We were fighting for broader student representation and it didn’t seem that we really could hold a voice anyways, even with our unified letter,” Ayoub said.
Haskayne dean Jim Dewald said the decision was part of an overall decrease in council membership.
“We really trimmed back faculty council and got refocused on what is the job of faculty council and who are the right people,” Dewald said.
Prior to the change, the Haskayne faculty council included two voting undergraduates — one for the CUS president and a shared vote for the two SU business representatives.
While Dewald believes student input is important, he thinks one voting member is enough.
“Faculty council is very specific to academic decisions and programming decisions,” Dewald said. “That’s a responsibility which is largely how academics feel about admissions and program completion and so on.”
SU business representative Conrad Lowe has a different view.
“We all fundamentally disagree because we believe we’re the ones going through the curriculum changes,” Lowe said. “I believe that my constituents have lost their voice on faculty council.”
The CUS president and SU representatives will be invited to council meetings as guests. Dewald believes students can offer input even if they are not voting members.
“There’s still the guests that are invited and they will always be recognized to speak and voice their opinion,” Dewald said.
Ayoub thinks student groups will have a difficult time changing council’s mind, but isn’t overly worried.
“I just know that we will find a way to make our voice heard regardless of our place,” Ayoub said.