The Student Affairs Committee, co-chaired by Maureen Kravec and Carolyn Barnett, met at the All College Conference on April 8, 1998. At the governance retreat held July 7-8, 1998, Mary Klinger and Kimberly Kociencki were elected as co-chairs for 1998-99.
The committee held a meeting on September 11, 1998. SAC also met by telephone conference calls on May 28, 1998, October 19, 1998, December 1, 1998, January 25, 1999 and March 16, 1999.
The committee fulfilled its mission as stated in the College By-laws to provide continuing study, review and recommendations for change in all phases of student involvement. This year the Student Affairs Committee has been very active in the areas of writing, technology, honor society/project, career counseling and co-curricular activities for students. In addition, SAC has continued to be aware of the importance of participation by students in many aspects of Empire State College.
The writing subcommittee continued its efforts to gather college-wide resources for student writers by compiling a bibliography of books and articles about writing and critical thinking strategies for adult students with learning disabilities. These, with a short review, are being posted in The Writer’s Complex, which hopefully will be linked to the Virtual Student Center. This subcommittee also is working on a plan to offer mini-residencies to students across the College in writing and research.
After demonstrations and discussions of the various web page activities being pursued by the College, the technology subcommittee worked on the creation of a SAC web page, which is close to going online. It will contain basic information about SAC; SAC meeting minutes; and eventually should contain a chat link for student responses, career counseling information and other useful material.
In another continuing activity, the subcommittee explored student computer access. Discussions have been ongoing with the foundation for support of a no-interest loan program to aid computer purchases for students. Since there is a need for quantitative data to prove student need for this program to be considered, the subcommittee has been pursuing avenues to gain this data, in conjunction with the Educational Technology Committee. Student computer access at centers and units continue to be a critical issue. A report to the ETC will be submitted on behalf of SAC for student access.
Acting on a proposal brought to SAC by the Board of Governors, SAC explored the possibility of forming an honor society. Since both philosophical and practical concerns were raised, SAC investigated possible alternative means of recognition for students. After much investigation and discussion, SAC found that a student-initiated honor project was the option that would gain the most acceptance from all members of the College community. A recommendation for an honor project, possibly in the final contract, utilizing a college-wide committee of interested faculty to develop guidelines and become resource people, was sent to APLPC for its consideration.
It was also decided that students should and will be recognized for their service on a governance committee. They will receive a certificate at the end of their term.
SAC created a subcommittee to investigate what is being done in this area throughout the College. It may be possible to include information gathered in the Virtual Student Center. This group is in the process of collecting materials from both internal and external sources.
At the request of students, as an extension of the honor society/project discussions, SAC began to explore ways of providing networking and information-sharing opportunities for students within specific disciplinary or professional concentrations. SAC requested area of study groups to forward information on organizations, memberships, activities and other pertinent material in disciplinary areas, in which students could engage to enhance their academic experience at Empire State College. A large quantity of information has been collected and is being organized and further research is being conducted. This will be presented as part of the student pages of the Virtual Student Center.
To further our attempts at this year’s focus of looking into the future of Empire State College, SAC facilitated a workshop at All College to address the student mentor relationship, communications and partnership.
SAC was persistent this year in its ongoing work to foster student participation in governance and a number of strategies were pursued. SAC has established a news column “Connections” in the Empire State College News to disseminate information about the activities of SAC. In an attempt to gain better participation in SAC meetings by students, the majority of meetings were held by conference call in the evenings. SAC has also attempted to have alumni student associations name student representative alternates. Letters have been sent to ASA presidents and center directors regarding the importance of representation. SAC student representatives planned a presentation at All College on the topic as well.
The question was raised about how student representatives are chosen, when some centers have strong unit based ASAs, and SAC representation is to be drawn from center ASAs. There needs to be a clarification of the by-laws in regard to this representation. This will be pursued with the College Senate.
SAC also requested that the College make adjustments to the All College and governance retreat schedules to accommodate more participation by students. The schedule was adjusted for this year.
Student representatives participated this year in discussions concerning the qualities they would like to see in the next president of Empire State College. They were also involved in the review of the Middle States Report.
SAC continued to encourage members to use meetings as a forum for discussions of affirmative action issues.
Representatives have been pursuing the possibility of student health insurance. Some preliminary discussions have occurred.
The members of the Student Affairs Committee wish to thank the many people throughout the College who have given advice and information during the year.
Mary Klinger and Kimberly Kociencki, Co-Chairs