The Student Affairs Committee has enjoyed an active and productive governance year. The student involvement continues to increase and we have benefited from this energy and commitment from this group. A SAC student representative is now an active member of the Education Technology Committee. In addition, we now have renewed representation for the Federation Board of Governors through another student representative. Yet another student representative is interested in participating in the SUNY Student Assembly.
The committee has convened on a monthly basis with in-person meetings at the Governance Retreat in July 2003, in Saratoga in October 2003 and at the Northeast Center in February 2004. All minutes and agendas are available for public view on the Empire State College website.
The following is a brief description of our agenda items:
The College Academic and Student Support Services Inventory was unveiled in near final form. This survey will be sent to each Empire State College location in April. The survey is designed to inventory current services in response to the strategic plan goal of providing consistent statewide services. The survey covers what academic services are offered such as math, writing, reading, library research skills, computer skills and study skills assistance. In addition, it covers student services such as assistance to students with financial aid, career services, disability services and multicultural support services. The results will be shared with the Front Porch Committee to help inform their work.
The committee discussed representation at the SUNY Student Assembly. We have not been heavily involved in past years due to the relevance of the student agenda. However, due to concerns about tuition and student assessment, we felt it was an appropriate time to explore our involvement again. One student SAC representative expressed interest in participating in this governance structure.
The committee took an active part in reviewing and providing feedback to the Graduate Studies Committee on the proposed college Academic Honesty policy. The committee also formed a sub-committee to develop proactive and educational recommendations for the college in discussing and informing students of this important topic. We took an opportunity at the last meeting to ask the SAC student representatives their experiences around academic honesty issues in their own educational career and discovered a wide variance of responses. Joyce Howland will use the information collected to inform a program at All College about academic honesty from a student perspective.
The committee was joined by representatives from the administration office to inform us of an increase in the technology fee for students from $50 to $75 to go in effect in the fall of 2004. In response, SAC put forth a recommendation that all students be charged the $75 technology fee, rather than differentiating between quarter-time non-matriculated students and the rest of the student body. This recommendation was accepted.
The committee remains committed to exploring ways to recognize students for the diverse contributions to our communities, to the college and for their amazing perseverance and sacrifice in working towards their educational goals. In support of this goal, the committee is working on three key areas:
The committee began a conversation about the goals and purpose of the Front Porch Committee. Amy Tweedy, who is also a member of the Front Porch Committee distributed copies of the grant proposal submitted by the college. Our future agenda will focus on SAC student feedback and recommendations to the initiative. In addition, we stand ready to assist the committee as needed.
The committee has published two newsletters. The spring 2004 edition has been submitted and will be distributed in May. The committee has discussed this unique opportunity to communicate with students. Our goals included making the newsletter more interesting and student friendly. We have initiated a student advice column written by a SAC student representative and have included articles from students in each edition. Our other goals include:
We welcome any feedback from the college on this publication.
This year we requested that copies be sent to each unit location in addition to the centers and programs. We are requesting copies for the coordinating center for future editions to increase visibility of this publication around the college. We are also exploring options for distributing the newsletter to students electronically.
The committee discussed replacing students whose term is ending on the Student Affairs Committee. The committee remains committed to the critical importance of student involvement. As such, the committee is developing information to be shared with prospective student representatives that details the mission and current work of the committee. Based on the feedback from current student representatives, we believe there are students in our student body who are interested in college governance and would benefit from their involvement.
We are also exploring ways for the student representatives to become more active and accessible within their respective centers and programs. Some possibilities include listing committee members and contact information on both the college and program/center website and including information in each edition of the newsletter.
Amy Tweedy, Co-Chair and Senate Representative