Sitting on the Board
This afternoon I achieved a goal I long promised myself I would never achieve. That sentence deserves an explanation, because it is rare that we seek to avoid goal achievement. Here at the UW we have two student governments, the GPSS for graduate students (of which I am an officer) and the ASUW for the undergraduates. During my time as an undergrad at the UW, I served in a variety of rolls in the ASUW, most prominently as the ASUW Student Senate Chair. The ASUW Student Senate is a broadbased group of student leaders who establish student opinion. The group stands in stark contrast to the ASUW Board of Directors, a small group of students who has often sought to replace the Senate’s deliberative opinion with its own. Given this animosity, I have always made it a point to avoid seeking a Board position, going to Board meetings, or generally liking the institution.
So how strange it was for me to be sitting, and voting, at the Board of Directors. Thanks to a long standing relationship between GPSS and ASUW, GPSS has a voting position which is traditionally filled by the Secretary. Unfortunately, the Secretary, who could not make this first meeting, sent me as a proxy.
And there I sat, for two or so hours, voting and debating issues in this entity which I had despised for all these years. Granted, the people serving on this year’s Board are of the highest caliber, and I would count almost all as friend, but that doesn’t change the nature of the institution. I still think the very formulation of the group lends itself to self-aggrandizement and narrow thinking. Yes, it is tempered by the personalities of the Board Members themselves; and, this Board will clearly be more Senate friendly than in the past. All that under consideration, I’m quite happy with my decision to never persue the post, and am equally glad that I’m not the GPSS Secretary.