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Louie Villanueva

Students’ Union changes course regarding faculty councils

By Fabian Mayer, November 17 2015 —

Friction between the university and the  Students’ Union over student representation on faculty councils is easing as the SU changes its approach to the issue.

The SU originally hoped the university would implement an overarching guideline mandating student representation on faculty councils. 

While provost Dru Marshall believes student representation on councils is important, she argued it would be inappropriate for her to step in arguing faculties have different cultures that must be respected.

“Faculties themselves are the best arbiters of who those students should be and why,” Marshall said.

Some faculty councils include student representatives from faculty clubs instead of SU appointed representatives.

Faculty councils determine enrolment standards and make decisions on behalf of faculties, like  what kinds of programs are offered. SU vice-president academic Stephan Guscott said the SU hopes to be involved in the process of selecting student representatives on faculty councils.

“We do want to ensure that there is consistency in how transparent and accountable the students are and how effectively they represent the students in their faculty,” Guscott said.

He said they are still looking for the right approach to ensure student representatives on councils are transparent and accountable to students in their faculty.

“It really does vary from faculty to faculty and having an overarching solution may not be the best way to go about this,” Guscott said.

While Guscott believes an encompassing policy is still possible, he said the SU started to approach deans individually to determine the best option for each faculty.

“We want to work with the individual faculties to help them have the best possible student representatives on their faculty councils,” Guscott said.

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