By Eric Fung
The University of Calgary’s senate wants your help.
“We’re seeking people who are passionate about the U of C,” said Chancellor Bill Warren. “The only thing to make volunteering successful is to be passionate.”
The 62-member senate’s responsibilities include representing the public, promoting the university, influencing decision makers, fostering student interests, and promoting and recognizing excellence. Thirty-two of its members are acclaimed based on their position, such as the U of C President, while the remaining 30 members from the general public are elected to three-year terms.
“Successive senates have asked the question, ‘what are we doing here?’” said Warren. “Our mandate in the Universities Act is to add value to the university.”
Oliver Ho, who is appointed to the senate by the Students’ Union, explained that many students are not aware of the work the senate does.
“I think that due to the nature of the senate’s roles and responsibilities, the senate and senators are more removed from students than I would personally like them to be,” said Ho. “The issues that affect students are dealt with more regularly by other administrative bodies, such as the General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors.”
The senate uses an annual application process to replace members who have resigned or completed their terms. This year, applications are due on Jan. 31 for the seven vacant positions. These applications are then reviewed by the Nominating Committee, who shortlist the applicants presented to the senate at their May 23 meeting. The successful candidates will take office in September 2003. According to Warren, the senate seeks members from a diverse range of ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities.
“There are no set criteria which are used to determine which applicants are to be appointed as senators,” said Ho. “Since the senate is to represent and communicate with various and differing communities, we often look to individuals who can help communicate with communities we do not have a lot of association with.”
For more information about the senate and its application process, see www.fp.ucalgary.ca/senate.