Democracy at CCSAI- Disclaimers and Caveats



I knew posting this video, I am making simplifications to big topics to make a 4 minute presentation. Since posting the video, there have been some questions coming in. Thank you all for holding me accountable and asking great questions! Here's all the background context, disclaimers, and explanations for the claims in the video!


Elections

"What's the explanation of the system being like this?"

Some systems have unintentional implications. It was not the board's intention to decrease election opportunities. Our current system has resulted in a smaller number of positions resulting from elections. However, it is our responsibility to critically examine the system and find solutions.


Transparency

"Weren't board meetings once public? What happened?"

Yes. At some point, board meetings were open to all students. Students had to register through a form to attend the Zoom board meeting. This form was no longer available by the time I began my term in May 2021. After some students complained about not having enough transparency regarding our monthly meetings, we had the form come live again in January 2022. Because of the limited engagement from students in attending board meetings, or reading meeting minutes, there isn't much regularity in updating access to these pieces. We need to work on meaningful engagement with students to facilitate conversations and interest in student politics.


Opportunity

"Are you saying the current board does not have these groups represented?"

The board changes every year, and the representation varies year to year. The statement "Our advising council is a great group of students, but we don't have diverse representation. We don't have representation from indigenous students or a student with disabilities or queer students." is referring to our process of recruiting for the advising council. Out of all eligible candidates, none had disclosed identification with the groups mentioned in the video. We need to explore the barriers these students may be facing in seeing themselves as part of the council. Regardless of the board representation each year, the process of recruiting and engaging with the council should encourage diverse representation from students.


Thank you for watching the video, and for asking critical questions! I appreciate the critical eye and the healthy skepticism.





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