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January 29, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-29

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Wedm~sday, January 20, 1 §75


ridge Five










tu ent



Submitted to the Regents, Students, Faculty, and Staff of The University of Michigan - December, 197


In October 1973 the Regents of
the University of Michigan re-
quested a thorough study of stu-
dent governance on the Ann Ar-
bor campus. However, the Con-
riMssion on Student Governance
(CSG) has believed since its
beginning that its research, ob-
servations, analysis, and recom-
mendtions belonged to all seg-
ments of the University com-
munity-students, faculty, staff,
and Regents. Consistent with
this philosophy, we are reprint-
ing the following complete text
of the Commission's Final Re-
port to afford everyone the op-
p6rtunity to read and evaluate
it first hand.
Your views and opinions are
welcomed by the Commission.
They can be sent to us through
the Office of the Vice President
for Stu4ent Services, 307 Michi-
gan Vnion. In addition, students
might wish to make their views
known to their school or college
government, to SGC, or to the
Itegents directly. Faculty may
wish to contact their department
chairperson, their college dean,
their Senate Assembly represen-
tative, or the Regents. If 'you
wish to comment at a Regents'
meeting during the Public Com-
ment Session, you may call 74-
7265 to have your name placed
on the agenda.
* * *
On October 19, 1973, the Re-
gents of The University of Mi-
chigaa direeted the Vice Presi-
dent for Student Services "to
i'apanel 4 broad spectrum of
stu4et leaders and faculty con-
sultants to prepare a plan for
the reorg 4iation of the cen-
tral student goverment' of
the Ann iArbor campus. The
CoMmission to Study Sndent
Gvorifete, whi h Vice Pl si-
dept Henr Jrrson co ivened
for the first time on Novenhr
3, 1973, embcdied a wide d-
versity of experience, inte :ests,
and copnituencI's. The Com-
wsision's rmemaership itivded
five faculty meibers appointed
by the Senate Advisory Commit-
tee on University Affairs (SA-
CUA); five staff members ap-
pOinted by Vice President John-
son; two representatives from
Student 0overnment Council
(SGC); six representatives from
various school and, college stu-
dent governments; five students
from different residential units;
four students selected by minor-
ity an4 specal. interest groups;
and two at-large student mem-
bers appointed by -the Vice Pres-
ident for Student Services.
Ms. Kathleen: Kolar, LSA '76
and Mr. ftnald Harris, Law '74,
were elected co-chairpersons at
the Commission's first meeting.
Mr. Harris left the Commission
After gra4tating in May, 1974.
Ms. Wen4e Bowie has served as
Program Assistant to the Con-
mission since February, 1974.
Mr. Robert Stephens, the Edu-
cation*l Inpovation Advocate,
assume4 major responsibility
for 4e;embi g the recommen-
dations and lengthy delibera-
tiens pf the C mpission into this
final report. The Commission
exprsses its sincere gratitude
to thee four, without whom our
work could never have been
The Copranisson met in open
session approximately bimonth-
ly duging the Winter 1974 term
and almost. weekly since then.
We bave met with students and
staff, and we have received sug-
gestions from individuals an4
grovpS on and off campus. At all
times we have soght to inform
the constituencies represented
and the University community
of our 4eliberations.
The Coammission gathered in-
formation on student govern-
ance at this Universty and ele-
where. Mr. Charles Vergop un-

dertool a wide-rangiag survey
of te governance s sterns of
OJer cooges and universities
rPof$ssor Bruce Bower, conduc-
te4 4n esborate survvy of stu-
dent opiiens regardig student
governan, on this campus. Mr.
John Fedtamp prepired a his-
tory of tucent G vernment
Couneil, arid Mr. Vhphens in-
vestigated current stident par-

group to reach compete agree-
ment on all issues, and efforts
to consider every point of view
and study a massive body of
data account for the tardiness of
tyis report.
The CSSG was created in an
atmosphere of political contro-
versy. The Regental Statement
on Student 'overnment express-
ed concern mainly about the
central student government, es-
pecially such problems a s
"fraudulent elections, extremely
loose fiscal practices, and mini-
mal student participation in
elections." Because it is impos-
sible to correct the problems of
the central student government
without attention to other levels
of : Ludent governance and the
proper division of fuclons he-
twe; r m--or wiholt consid-
zrang ;tuent pa-i"pauon i h
levels of University structure-
the Commission deided early
not to limit its inquiries to
claims of SGC misconduc+. This
broader view of our task has
met with the approval of the
various interested constituen-
In order to insure an impar-
tial assessment of student gov-
ernance, the Commision decid-
6d to regard itself a a purely
advisory body addressing its
findings and recommendations
to the Fegents and the studens
alike. The CSSG does not favor
the imposition of its recommen-
dations on the students or facul-
ty by the Regents; rattier. it
calls for the students to recon-
stitute their forms of govern-
ance along the lines of our re-
port and in consultation with
other concerned constituencies.
and the Regents. The implemen.
tation of our recommendations
should be primarily the respon-
sibility of tose to whom any
viable system of student gover-
nance ought to be accountale
the students tiems'elves.
We hope our analysis ad re-.
commendations-the results of
nearly a year of cooperation be-
tween students, staff, apd facul-
ty-receive a wide and search-
ing discussion from all constitu-
encies of the University com-
* * *
In our extensive study of stu-
dent governments here and at
other campuses the Commission
has concluded that the effect-
iveness of a student govern-
ment is dtermined by three
4istinct yet interdependent fac-
(1) the government's reason
for existence, its purposes and
(2) the structure or model by
which the government chooses
to achieve its goals; and
(3) the quality, talent, and
dedication of those students
who become involved in and re-
sponsible for the government's
Each of these factors will be
discussed in some detail.
Of the three, purpose is the
most important determinant of
success or failure. Purpose will
influence a group's structure
and composition. For a student
government to gain student sup-
port, maintain its credibility, be
a useful organization, and be
perceived as such it must con-
cern itself with the concerns of
its constituency. Some student
concerns are all-campus in
scope, such as housing, health
care, recreation facilities, and
the ability to meet and organ-
ize with others around common
social, cultural or political in-

But students are primarily
concerned with their education.
The raison d'etre of the Univer-
sity, after all, is education. Stu-
dents are concerned with deci-
sions affecting curriculum, aca-
demic policy (grading, gradua-
tion requirements, etc.), per-
sonnel (hiring, firing, promotion,
tenure), and budget.** Unlike

ency. This inherent deficiency
was overshadowed in previous
years by other issues that at-
tracted the interests of students.
Prior to the late 1960's a large
number of University policies
pertained to the students' non-
classroom life. As a result, stu-
dents too were concerned with
issues like driving regulations,
fraternity discrimination and
other non-academic concerns.
But time brings changes. The
age of majority is now eighteen.
The University's concern with
driving regulations and women's
hours is a thing of the past.
This is not to imply that there
are no longer issues which af-
fect all students. Our point is
simply that the Academic con,
cerns of students are now, more
than ever, of primary impor-
tance and thus more visible.
Also more visible is SGC's in-.
herent inability to deal with
In the Commission's opinion,
the discrepancy between student
need and SGC purpose is the
principal cause for the present
ineffectiveness of the central
student government. The dis-
crepancy also largely accounts
for the phenomenal growth of
school and college governments
in recent years. While these or-
ganiZations differ in structure
and political development, they
share one common trait-an in-
terest in the Academic lives of
tCeir students. This focus is no
coincidence. Nor is it a coinci-
dence, that no school/college
government has "been charac-
terized by fraudulent elections,
and extremely loose fiscal prac-
This is not to say that school/
college governments receive uni-
versal support. These govern-
ments often suffer from low vis-
ibility to their constituents which
is the result of their inability to
affect concretely the students'
educational environment. On
the whole, however, their image
and credibility with both their
student constituents and the fac-
ulty in their units far exceeds
that of the central student gov-
ernment. The status they do
have owes in part to a clear
sense of affiliation to their
schools or colleges. Students and
faculty have confidence in peo-
ple they know personally or
with whom they at least have
common interests and concerns.
But more important, the image
and credibility of school/college
student governments are a re-
flection of their involvement
with the Academic issues which
most concern students. Our
model for a student governance
system will attempt to take ad-
vantage of these strengths.
The most successful student
governments are those which
have a structure capable of
translating purpose into pro-
grams. By structure we mean
not only the internal design cf
the govet nment-its offi.;ers,
the number and size of comr:-
tees, etc.-but also its manner
of interacting with and affect
ing other University units. '10
+emonstrnte the importance of
this two-part definition, we ned
only imagine ]ow much SGC's
impact on the quality of stu-
dent life would have been di-
minished without its ability to
make appointments to Univer-
sity committees.
The first SGC was an 18
member body. Fleven members
were elected at large and 7
were appointed by what were
then the most powerful stident
activity organizations - the
Michigan Union, Micligan
League, Pan-Hellenic, Interfra-
ternity Council, Assembly Asso-
ciation, Interlouse Council (the

latter two being dormitory gov-
erning units), and the Michigan
Dally. The President of SGC
was selected internally from
the elected members. The con-
cept of ex officio members was
to insure the Council of a larg-
er power base, more accounta-
bility to the students, and better
communications. As student in-
terests and alignments changed,
however, the inclusion of these

darity, a government elected ' SGC's external structure - its other people, have a right to centralized, student organiza-'
totally at-large might have formal relations with other seg- participate in making decisions tions, representing the particu-
hoped to adequately represent ments of the University - has which substantially affect them. lar constituency most concerned
the diversity of student con- functioned more effectively than This is a fundamental principle | and most affected by a specificJ
cerns. its internal structure. SGC's stu- of a democratic society, and it area of decision making, should
During the '70's, SGC played dent appointees *o University applies to the University as it have central responsibility fort
a diminishing role in University policy boards and standing corn- does to all other institutions student input into that decision;
governance, even in non-aca- mittees have probably improved whose decisions have a major process.
demic issues of all-campus the quality of both student 1Ife impact on groups of peole. To
scope. At the same time, there and University life. SGC has at the extent that people are of- Finally, the Ad Hoc Commit-
was growing student interest least understood the importance fected by decisions, thev are en I tee to Draft Regental yLas,
and participation in school/col- of committee participation as a titled to influence those deci- implementing the Hatcher Cor-
legiate and departmental af- way to channel student concerns; sions. mission recommendations, pro-
fairs, exemplified by the estab- into forums in which concrete Another reason why studens (7.ed) by-aw sh a to at
lishment of the Rackham Stu- responses may be worked out. should participate in the mak- 10 wht te ents adopt-
lishmen ed, but more specific in encour-l
dent Government, the revitaliza- If any criticism is in order here, ing of decisions is that, if they aging student involvement at all
tion of the LSA Student Govern- it should be directed against do, the decisions are likely to be levels of decision making: "Stu-
Cent in 1971, and the prolifera- those who have resisted 7;tuj.en: better-not only for studen s but dent participation at all levels,1
tion of student departmental as- decision-making participation, for the University community and in all areas of University
sociations since then. SGC's cre- desite Regents By-Law 7.05°* generally. R e g e n t s By-Law: decision-making shall be con-
dibility and legitimacy fell un- or failed to take student involve- (7.05) acknowledges the contri- tinually encouraged." Space
der increasing attack from the ment seriously where it does ex- bition which students can make does not permit quotation from
students themselves, and in 1973 ist. The absence of substantial in declaring that "Student parti- the collegiate and departmental
a new SGC constitution was ap- student influence on many Ui-1 cipation in University decision- recommendations (especially by
proved in a controversial elec- vec sity decision-making proess- making is important to the qua-: sch LSAtions eesiasyhby
tion. (We express no opinion as es has not only undermined st-* lity of student life at the Uni- suchIte committees as the 9
to whether this constitution was dent governments as instra- versity, and shall be encourag- Committee on Governance (19-
in fact approved by the student ments of student involvement ed." Each constituency )f the 71) and Graduation Require-
majority in a fair election.) The but has also undoubtedly wors- University brings a distinct and have endorsed a policy-making
new constitution in part revert- ened the quality of Univesty illuminating perspective to bear role for students.
ed to the original SGC model by policies and decisions in which on policy questions; each is ther
providing for representation by: students have not participated. best source of information on Finally, the Commission has
ostensible interest groups: one- U NE how choices are likely to affect found that there is a distinct
third from residential constitu- SENT N E R Eits members. As the largest in- trend toward increased student
encies, one-third from "divi PERSONNEL ternal University constituency, participation in decision makIng
sional" (Undergraduate, Profes- A third factor influencing the the students have much to con- in collegiate and departmental
sional Graduate and Rackham quality and extent of stuctent tribute to decision-making pro- affairs in recent years (see
I Graduate) constituencies, and government participation is the. cesses, and the academic cem- "Student Participation in the:
one-third from school and col- characteristics of the student munity stands to gain by draw Schools and Colleges"). Even,
lege constituencies. government members themsel- ing on their energies and tal- today such student involvement
This constitution, however, ves. Corrupt or incompetent sti-' ents. Every faculty and admmi- is probably greater in scope and
has rendered SGC structure dents do serious harm to student istrative spokesperson to offer depth than it has ever been at
ponderous and inefficient with- government processes, as the an opinion has informed the the all-campus level. There are
out appreciably increasing its G exerien .e indicaed ut Commission that student invol- c o n.s i d erable variations, of'
resposiveess r rerese the type of students involved in vement in collegiate or de ar-
responsiveness or representu-dn r tmentl decsong da course, among different units,
tive character. A principal rea-. gosmaking but the overall tendency is to-
son for this is that the "consti- cnquence than a cause the proved the resuling decisions. ward sharing more authority
tuencies" defined are, at least 1 problems of student govern-'
furpses f a alast ment. The character of student Student participation is also with the students and increasing
for purposes m f n a-tapas representatives is largely deter- valuable because it educates the the proportion of student mem-
argovern m e nt, arbitrary and mined by t h e government's students involved. S t u d n t s bers on decision-making units.
largely unrelated to real and sense of purpose and the extent learn how to make responsible This suggests that the experi-
andvierointcamngestudntrs. to which its structure permits decisions by naving resposibi-o ence of the schools and depart-:
and viewpointiamong students accomplishment of its goals. If ity in decision making. The ments supports the Commis-
The residential constituencies- the government is purposeless classroom is no educational in sion's conclusions as to the util-
(dormitories, independent hos-t or unworkable, creative and en this way. Nor is it the case that ity of student participation.
arg, inapropiatebtis f ergetic students will find more only a handful of students learn IL A STUDENT
all-campus residential arrange- productive uses for their time. practical skills of research, ar- GOVERNANCE SYSTEM
ments, and partly because stu- The Commission believes that gument, deliberation and policy'
dents, cange tirt esdee its recommendations will assist initiation from decision-making In Section I we outlined the
dents change their residence in the development of a strong participation. F en now the? e realities and problems which
(and often their type of r; and responsive governance sys- are hundreds cf students involv- the Commission faced in prepar-
tersden ti)aso represntatves tem-and that such a structure ed in collegh4 and deparemen- I ig a plan for "central student
their residential representatives will attract honest, talented, tal committee work alone, not government which will improve
frequently do not even belong to and dedicated students in suffi- to mention those serving an stu- its credibility, insure its repre-
the constituency in which they cient numbers to guard against dent governments, on SACUA sentative character, encourage
voted or from which they were unrepresentativeness committees, and in other Uni- maximum student participation
tence. mae edvenlss sense The school/college and depart- versity policy units. . . . and institute procedures
tuencies make even less sense gis to tha our which will guarantee its integ-
than the residential constituen- ment student governments seem It is worth noting thatorriy"* These were our find-
ts Some schools and colleges to share many of the problems conclusions as to the value and i.Ts
offer five or six year programs of the central student govern- viability of student participation g
impossible to classify under this ment. But unlike SGC, they are were shared by previous com- (1) to be a strong, effective,:
scheme; some undergraduate directly concerned with the Aca- mittees and commissions to con- and credible organization a stu-
programs may have more in demic policy questions that us- sider the question: The Report dent government must serve as
cogms with grauae pofesn ually have the greatest impact 1of the Special Study Committee a vehicle for meeting student
sional than with other undergra- on a student's education. Such for the Office of Student Affairs needs;
duate programs; some Rack- governments conceive their pur- (the "Reed Report"), 1962, stat- (2) one of the most important
ham graduate students (espec- pose as seeking to influence ed: needs of students is to partici
ially those in liberal arts depart- Academic decision making, to If the student's life at the Uni- their Academic lives;
ments) have more in common secure membership on decision- versity both within and without (3) the University is a highly
with undergraduate concentra- making bodies, and to handle the classroom is to stimulate decentralized decision - making
tors in the same departments student issues related to that him to make maximum use of body. Academic decisions are
than with other Rackham grad- unit. Structurally, these student his abilities and maximum con- made primarily by the schools
uate students, and so on. The governments vary widely, and tribution to society, he must be and colleges and their several
behavior of SGC members elec- since their constituencies are considered a participating mem- departments;
ted by constituency bears out smaller and their functions ber of a "community of schol- (4) functionally and structur-
alour criticisms: they appear to clearer than those of SGC, the ars," with responsibilities and ally the central student govern-
align themselves, once elected, diversity of structure is appro- o p p o r tunities commensurate ment can deal only with all-cam-
by ideology or expediency with- priate. One never hears com- with his capacities. He should m ts eal
out much concern for represent- plaints of corruption like those be expected to participate fully ( pus issues;
ing the supposedly distinctive routinely leveled at SGC mem- in decisions affecting his wel- ($) there exist school/college
viewpoints of their constituen- bers, though there are certainly fare. tenment dt al ax-
i es. members of student govern- tent, student departmental as-
IA definition of constituencies ments or standing committees The Report of the Ad Hoc sociations, which exist specific-
Aby schools and colleges seems who perform poorly. The major' Committee on Student Participa- ally to deal with students' Aca-
logicay os. Std ets are fi- pdeterminant of effective student tion in University affairs (the demic concerns; and
ated oger wit tetr scol- vernmntat the collegiate "Knauss Report"), 1966, stated (6) the effectiveness of these
collegerthan with a residential and departmental levels has that "Student participation in governments is determined by
constituency; and school and been their structural and func- University affairs is important their functional and structural
collgeiies drecl and betina inlementrutuwit colle- both for the student's own edu- ties to Academic decision mak-
college policies directly and sub- t.ona ivovemen thcoke. botiorte stuent'son d ortes g ts-cdei ecsonmk
stantially affect them while an giate or departmental decision- cational experience, and for the ing units.
Sabstract "divisional" classifica making bodies. A government benefit of the University," and From these findings the Com
ti o n dosn o t. Even here, which secures minimal oppor- - eomne ht mission has concluded that if
though, the SGC arrangement is tunities for its constituents to 1. The University should re- the central student government
arbitrary, for some of the larg- participate in the Academic de- cognize the need for active stu- is to survive, it must be inte-
er schools (especially USA and cisions which affect them sim- dent participation at all levels grated with student government
Rackham) embrace such a vari- ply cannot garner student stup- of University affairs. units at the school/college and
ety of decentralized programs port. The key to strengthening 2. Student participation at the departmental levels. The contin-
that a meaningful system would student government at the col- departmental and school level ued existence of a student gov-
make room for departmental as legiate, departmental, and all- should be promoted. Students ernment on this campus hinges

well as school-wide representa- campus levels, then, is greater should be actively involved in on the emergence of a multi-
tion. student participation in the de- academic matters within their level, interdependent STUDENT
We are not arguing that at- cision-making mechanisms at departments. GOVERNANCE SYSTEM. Such
large representation (whether those levels. The Commission on the Role a system might reasonably hope
all-campus or school-wide) has II. STUDENT PARTICIPATION of Students in Decision-Making to meet all the various needs of
no place in student governance. IN DECISION MAKING (the Hatcher Commission) 1968 students. The specific design of
On the contrary, we 'believe thatsthatheC-s '1 ' this "Michigan Student Govern-
each level of student governance The model for a student gov statedthat: ment" is established in the next
ought to include representatives ernance system which we will On grounds both of democratic section of this report. However,
elected at-large from that level. I outline later calls for increased' principle and of educational pol- it is appropriate at this point to{
But where students are formal- student participation in the Aca- icy, students should be accorded outline some of the necessary

the school/college a g e n c i e s
(presently the school / college
governments) would handle the
Academic concerns at the level
of each school and college; and
the departmental units (present-
ly departmental (associations)
would serve the Academic needs
of students within their areas.
(3) For the school/college and
departmental units to actually
meet the needs of their consti-
tuents, they must become an in-
tegral part of the Academic de-
cision-making process within
their schools/colleges and de-
(4) To best meet the needs of
their diverse student enroll-
ments, each school/college and
departmental unit, as well as
the all-campus agency of the
student government, must con-
sider and create selection pro-
cedures and structures that fa-
cilitate the representation of
minority students.
(5) To facilitate coordination,
cooperation and communication,
between the various levels of
the new governance system, the
central unit would have some re-
presentatives appointed by and
responsible to the school/college
units, who would in turn have
some representatives appointed
by and likewise responsible to
the departmental units.
(6) The success of our system
is clearly contingent on the Uni-
versity's willingness to allow
students to share in both Aca-
demic and non-academic deci-
(7) It is our sincere hope that
the adoption of our proposals
will lead to a merging of faculty
and student interests, especially
at the school, college, and de-
partment levels where the con-
cerns and interests of both
groups in general coincide. We
have specifically npt attempted
to prescribe the right way of
doing things, nor have we cho-
sen to write a constitution for all
to follow. Each Academic unit
must design the system which is
best suited to itself.
(8) There is a significant role
for present school/college gov-
ernments in this transition to
greater faculty-student govern-
ance. It is best for all concern-
ed for school/college govern-
ments to maintain their present
level of activity and to facilitate
and monitor the new system.
With time, however, we believe
that many of the present gov-
ernmental functions could be as-
sumed by the new governance
structures. In some cases the
need for separate student and
faculty governments may van-
During the period of study and
deliberation by the Commission
leading to the drafting of this
report, the Graduate Employea
Organization (GEO) became a
recognized bargaining unit on
the campus at Ann Arbor. R-
cognizing the potential for inter-
action and possible conflict be-
tween GEO and any new system
of student governance, the Com-
mission examined the contem-
porary GEO bargaining propos-
als. Since it seemed clear that
the submission of the final Com-
mission report and the agree-
Iment on the contract between
the University and GEO would
not occur at the same time, this
statement can only express the
concern of the Commission. The
Commission hopes that, in any
actions which may be pursued
as an outgrowth of this report,
thought will be given to the con-
cerns arising from the alnos
simultaneous occurence of the
GEO contract and this report.
In all probability this would hap-
pen in a student constitutional

A. These recominendations are
directed to the faculty and stu-
dents in the University's several
1. The development of student
departmental associations i n
each department is crucial for
the strong student governance
system we have recommended.
Where these already exist, stu-
dent participation in department
ir A(doni r a,',, .rnn mill hP

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