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Vice chair election letter

Dear student senator,

I hope your first week of school has been great! My name is Fanda Yang, your fellow CFANS graduate student senator. I am running for vice chair of the Student Senate Consultative Committee because I intend to bring out a vibrant, collaborative, and constructive Student Senate.

Before elaborating on what such a Student Senate may look like, I want to share a few moments with you: When you stepped into your first senate meeting, did you ever wonder why you did not know about the Student Senate earlier? How about your fellow classmates? While serving as a senator, did you ever want more involvement than 4 meetings a year? Have you ever asked yourself if the Student Senate is the place to obtain or exercise the type of leadership skills that would offer a leg up in your first job after graduation?

If these thoughts crossed your mind before, I am very confident you and I share a very similar vision for the Student Senate. Together, we can make our experience at the Student Senate more than just a few lines on a résumé.

Here’s what this vision entails:

  1. All campuses united: A monthly newsletter may be sent to all senators to inform new development on each campus. Student Senate can serve as a forum for senators to gather diverse opinions on issues they focus on. For example, system campus senators may impart wisdom on TC campus issues. When an issue occurs across campuses, we can take formal actions at the senate.
  2. A brand new outreach program: Engage in fun activities with your constituents. I have been in conversation with the Student Senate leadership in regards to creating a senate outreach committee under Student Unions and Activities (SUA). Separate funding from SUA may create more possibilities for us to host bowling, Frisbee, or cookout events.
  3. A closely-knit senate: Let’s make sure we know each other! I believe the Student Senate is more than the sum of its parts. Collaboration is at its best if we know who is the right senator to work with on particular issues. That said, happy hours anyone?
  4. Senator empowerment: I want to make sure each senator gets the amount of involvement they desire. More leadership opportunities may open up to you with the creation of the outreach committee and other monthly activities.

I hope this list excites you as much as it excites me and you will be willing to work with me to make it happen. If I am elected to the vice chair role, my leadership philosophy is this: I see myself more as a facilitator than a supervisor. The spirit of shared governance is that everyone can take part in the decision-making process. Upholding this spirit to the Student Senate, I will strive to provide necessary resources for you to perform your consultative duties. I am here to facilitate your success as being a student leader at the Senate. When you succeed as a Student Senator, I succeed as a facilitator at the Student Senate with you!

Before signing off, I want to quote a few sentences from an article written by Gary A. Olson published on The Chronicle of Higher Education. In “Exactly What Is ‘Shared Governance’?”, Dr. Olson wrote:

The key to genuine shared governance is broad and unending communication. When various groups of people are kept in the loop and understand what developments are occurring within the university, and when they are invited to participate as true partners, the institution prospers. That, after all, is our common goal.

Indeed, that is our common goal! It is my promise to keep you in the loop, ensure your understanding of the development at the Student Senate leadership, and invite your feedbacks as partners, coworkers and friends!

Let’s make this happen together!

Sincerely yours,
Fanda Yang