What is program governance?
Every program at the Graduate Center operates under a governance document. This document basically contains language on the structure of the program, the amount and type of committees it should have, and some may even contain an enumerated list of rights and responsibilities for students and faculty. The Sociology program’s governance document was last updated in 2017, and should be reviewed on a regular basis during the last year of the Executive Officer’s current term.
Where is it located?
How does this impact me as a student?
In the 1960s, students fought for the right to represent their views and participate in the decision-making process and governance of their school, ensuring a student voice in important decisions that affect them. One way we have kept this tradition alive and well at the GC is by assuring that students are able to participate in the various committees at the program level. These committees (for example, the Executive Committee, or the Admissions & Awards Committee) make important decisions about the curriculum, the courses offered, and the standards by which to judge incoming students, to name a few. If students are unable to participate in these important decisions, the policies that get approved can be misguided or even hurtful to student progress and experience.
As students, we need to demand that our programs follow their governance documents, and if they are outdated, to update them immediately. We are not just students in our respective programs, we are also co-participants and decision-makers about how our program should run and what kind of culture it should promote.