The lack of attendance from Student Senators at UVic is profoundly disturbing. Sadly, it is a trend that has continued every year on Senate and all I can do is shake my head in disappointment. This is not a new issue. Visiting the main Senate website and looking at the records of past meetings will show you the dismal attendance.
While it may not seem like much, the Senate is profoundly important and controls much of the academic life of the university. Student scholarships, exam policies, grade distribution, and even the number of students the university accepts any given year—it’s all done on Senate. When students don’t show up, they greatly reduce what little clout we have at the university to formally speak our minds.
I get it. School is difficult and you can’t be expected to make every meeting, or every Committee meeting (whose attendance is usually worse), and I don’t expect that. But when you are an elected member you cease to be an individual and instead must represent the voices of your peers. Your voice is their voice.
I served as the Humanities Student Senator for two years which were some of the best experiences I had at UVic. University administrators—love them or hate them—took my feedback seriously because I was one of the few members to show up (aside from some notable exceptions).
Thank you to the Martlet for bringing this up and for continuing to monitor our student representatives. Maybe we can see a change if we hold our representatives responsible in a court of public opinion.