TSG, Faculty Senate seeking ‘open lines of communication’

Both groups will increase meetings through the rest of the semester.

Representatives from Temple Student Government and the Faculty Senate have been meeting to discuss a cooperative approach to issues that affect both students and faculty so that TSG has a stronger voice in faculty matters.

According to a report submitted to Parliament by graduate student representative Jeff Fonda, Faculty Senate President Michael Sachs said he would like to see more TSG involvement in the Faculty Senate.

“It would be nice to have some regular, maybe once a semester, meetings between the Faculty Senate leadership and the Temple Student Government leadership,” Sachs said. “Just to share what current issues are, just to see what each other’s plans are and if there are ways we can help each other.”

Sachs occasionally meets with Student Body President Aron Cowen, but the Faculty Senate has little interaction with TSG outside those meetings, he added.

“There are parts of Faculty Senate that pertain to students that I believe it would be great to have a student on,” Cowen said. “I think it would be good just to increase some understanding in both directions and increase student’s understanding behind academic decisions that students don’t appreciate. I think it’s a win-win.”

“With the formation of Parliament, it just seemed organically to come up as a good idea,” Sachs said. “Certainly, open lines of communication and a potential for working together is always a good idea.”

Temple’s Faculty Senate holds two different types of meetings: university Faculty Senate meetings and Representative Senate meetings.

The university Senate meetings are held once at the end of each semester and are open to all faculty. Representative Senate meetings are held monthly from September to March and are open to all members of the faculty, but only members of the Representative Senate are eligible to vote on issues brought to the Senate’s floor.

The Faculty Senate also holds weekly steering meetings, when faculty representatives from each school meet and make recommendations and proposals. Sachs extended invitations to members of Parliament and the executive branch to attend two of the meetings in April.

“I would certainly like to encourage some more connections and contact with Temple Student Government just to make sure everyone knows what’s going on and there’s a mutual understanding,” Sachs added.

According to Fonda’s report, Sachs believes that the Faculty Senate has “lost power and influence in the last few years.” He added that often, Temple’s administration will move ahead with some initiatives without first consulting the Faculty Senate.

Cowen is hoping to bring members of TSG into Faculty Senate meetings to build understanding between faculty and students.

“We want to be good representatives of students and be serious about the responsibility we have to adequately represent 30,000-plus students,” Cowen said.

A search committee for Temple’s next president will be formed in 2018, Sachs said, adding that he hopes there is a student on that committee.

There are no further details on the formation of this committee at this time, he added.

“Overall, we’re just trying to encourage continuing positive interactions and working together when we can,” Sachs said.

Amanda Lien can be reached at amanda.lien@temple.edu or on Twitter @amandajlien.

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