Two weeks ago, we were proud to announce the elections of Andy King as President and Ellie Crean as Vice-President of the Lawrence University Community Council. The elections held by the previous administration were a remarkable success and deserve commendation. We hope that these candidates will use the momentum garnered by the elections to attend to two matters that are currently impeding LUCC.The first concern we have in regard to LUCC is the sizeable presence of non-elected representatives – members of LUCC who are not elected but simply sign up – on committees.
The nature of the LUCC governing system places considerable stress on individual committees at the expense of the general counsel. Most matters brought to the attention of LUCC enter into committees – where courses of appropriate actions are decided – and then are presented, with committee’s decisions, to the General Counsel where the committee’s suggestions are voted upon. This is logical since it makes for a more efficient governing process.
We are troubled by the fact that an organization that is supposed to represent the students relies on non-elected members to take part in a significant amount of their operations. We would like to see a decrease of these non-elected members.
LUCC should consider facing this particular problem either by increasing the responsibilities of already elected representatives by obliging them to join more committees or by increasing the number of elected LUCC representatives so there are an adequate amount so committees do not have to accept non-elected members into their ranks.
While we favor the latter idea, we hope LUCC considers the merits of both these recommendations for what is a very real problem.
Public engagement is another area where LUCC could focus its efforts. After the successful elections, LUCC should aim to find new ways to keep the student body informed on the issues they are addressing as well as what they plan to do about these issues. We understand that LUCC supplies their minutes to anyone who asks, but this is not enough.
Three sensible ways of tackling this dilemma are consistently updating the minutes page on their website, publicly posting the minutes in highly visible locations and occasionally tabling in locations where students could directly interact with LUCC representatives. Input from constituents is an integral part to any representative government, which is why this seemingly small matter is of such importance.
We believe that these two suggestions will facilitate LUCC’s continued pursuit of accountability and efficiency, and we strongly encourage President-elect King and Vice President-elect Crean, as well as all the members of LUCC, to heed them.