The Bylaws Subcommittee formed in the Spring of 2010 to address issues of communication, accountability, and decision-making processes. Student Alliance, the primary student governance body at the institute, is currently without bylaws or a constitution. Subsequently, a working group was formed through Student Alliance to begin structuring the Bylaws. We believe that bylaws are needed in order to create a more sustainable and responsible system of student governance for students and by students. In order to make our process as transparent as possible to the student body, and in order to outreach to various constituencies on and off campus, we are inviting all student to participate in the creation of the bylaws and work toward greater accountability at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
To get involved in helping form the Bylaws, you can:
- Come to a Student Alliance Meeting
- Contact Tia, the Student Alliance coordinator
Come find out about student organizing, concerns that have surfaced over the past year, or come voice your own concerns. We will try to locate trends that different concerns highlight, and will then focus on ways to address them. Although we know that shaping the Bylaws is one way, we realize that there are other ways as well. Come be part of changing the institution to improve the quality of our education, the space that our education takes place within, and our academic community.
Letter from Erin McElroy, a student who had been instrumental in the process of creating bylaws:
Dear CIIS Community,
It has been an honor to serve the student body on the Board of Trustees for the past year, and I look forward to continuing to serve for the rest of this academic year. It has been inspiring to be part of what I see as a growing movement towards a sustainably politicized student body at CIIS, one that works collectively with student groups, faculty, staff, and administrators. I have seen students and student groups continuously labor to hold space for student voice and collaborative governance, not only because they see it as a responsibility, but because they care about the place in which their education occurs.
Numerous student-initiated steps have been taken to better communication amongst and between different constituencies at CIIS. Student participation in various arenas is continuing to grow. From Breakfasts with the President, to the campaign for multi-gender bathrooms, to the implementation of childcare provisions, students are continuing to show up politicized as a form of care. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go, specifically towards improving both communication and participation amongst different constituencies. I look forward to continuing to work towards this with the student body, Student Alliance, faculty, staff, different administrators, and the Board.
This semester promises to hold potential for such work. I am inspired by the steps taken to draft Student Alliance Bylaws, and I hope to see this process continue to unfold with increased participation from the student body. Also, I am hopeful that throughout the year, we as students can work together towards making more transparent different institutional decision-making bodies and processes. I look forward to holding more student-only Town Hall meetings in the near future, so that students can come together and to think and organize. I also look forward to electing more students into key representative positions in the school, again for better mechanisms of transparency and accountability. Given the resolution just passed by the Board to investigate ways to shorten time-to-graduation for doctoral students, I think it is an especially crucial time to think more about student alliances with faculty and administrative bodies, so that students are included in decision-making processes that directly affect our time at CIIS. Through such work I hope that we can collectively create a culture of responsibility in the school that we all care so much about.
Erin McElroy, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees, 10/21/10
Read Existing Student Alliance Bylaws here.