Program Governance

Elections. Two representatives and one voting alternate will be elected by the clinical graduate students to serve as voting representatives to the clinical program committee. The two representatives will attend all clinical program meetings, with the exception of those concerned with issues involving individual students. Each of the two representatives will be entitled to one vote. The alternate may attend meetings if she or he chooses. If one of the two regular representatives cannot attend a meeting, the alternate should attend as a voting member. Those elected will serve for one term, extending from the beginning of Spring Semester through the end of Fall Semester. Anyone who has served as a representative is eligible for re-election if nominated. The election will be held during the last two weeks of classes of Fall Semester. The incumbent representatives will be responsible for conducting the election according to the principles outlined below (based on a 16-week semester where exam week is the 17th week).

1.) Monday, week 14: A notice will be sent out to all clinical students in residence (those registered for credit hours during the semester in which the election is being held) requesting three nominations. In the request for nominations, the reps should encourage the nomination of third -and later-year students as well as first and second-year students. All nominations must be received by the incumbent representatives by 5:00 pm Friday.

2.) Monday, week 15: A final ballot, consisting of all eligible persons who were nominated (and who chose to run), will be distributed to all clinical students in residence. Students will vote for three individuals and will return their ballots by 5:00 p.m. Friday. The two individuals receiving the highest number of votes will be the student representatives and the individual with the third highest of votes will serve as the alternate. The current reps will contact the newly elected reps and will let all clinical students know who the new reps will be.

In the event of ties, a run-off election will be held during the first week of Winter Semester, thereby delaying the installation of the new representatives and the alternate by one week.

Responsibility.It will be the responsibility of the student reps to communicate and support student opinions and interests to the clinical faculty. The issues that are considered at the clinical program meetings can be put on a continuum of importance. At one end are the major policy decisions, for which it is recommended that the student reps secure student input through a formal ballot or in a formal meeting. At the other are procedural and other immediate issues that the reps can best decide by using their own judgment. For intermediate-level issues, the representatives should solicit student input in order to be able to represent student opinion on the issue. Students can of course, at any time, give their input to the representatives. 

Open Forums.   A majority of clinical students in residence may request an open forum to which all clinical faculty and students will be invited. The purpose of this procedure is to provide an opportunity for input from and discussion by both faculty and students of the matter at hand, prior to decisions being made as usual in the clinical faculty meetings. Unless otherwise decided in advance, these meetings will be limited to one hour. Student(s) who wish to convene an open forum should see their representatives to initiate this process. 

Guidelines for Representatives.  It is the responsibility of the student representatives to solicit student input on substantive issues. The reps will be responsible for communicating information to the students concerning current and upcoming issues that are being discussed in the clinical program meetings, as well as any decisions made at these meetings. Minutes of the meetings as well as the agenda for upcoming meetings are available from the DCT. At points where, in the judgment of the student reps, it is not in the students’ best interest for the committee to arrive at a decision immediately, a request will be made to table the issue at-hand until student input can be solicited. It is emphasized that individual students must make their wishes known to the reps.

Student Meetinqs.   Twenty-five percent of the clinical students in residence may request a meeting with their reps. The purpose of this procedure is to provide an opportunity for student discussion of important issues. Student reps may also convene student meetings.

The reps will keep a record of the issues that have been voted on and the votes cast by them. In addition, a file containing pertinent information on issues that have arisen during their tenure will be kept and given to the incoming reps. A meeting will be held with the incoming reps to provide orientation and facilitate the transition.

Admissions. The clinical students play a major role in hosting applicants during the admissions interview process. The reps try to identify housing for each applicant with current grad students and work with the Clinic secretary to be sure each applicant is contacted about housing. Reps are also responsible for planning and hosting lunch on each interview day and purchasing the food/drinks for the 8-9:00 am reception. (The food/drinks are of course paid for by the program–the reps aren’t expected to pay for all this!) Most years the reps also organize informal social activities for those applicants who arrive the night before their interviews.

In addition, one clinical student acts as a full voting member of the admissions committee. This typically is an advanced student who is nearing completion of the program requirements, such as one who has applied to go on internship the following year.  Candidates are nominated by the clinical student body and one is elected by the faculty and student representative of the clinical program committee.  In addition to the student member of the committee, all students are given the opportunity to view non-confidential information in candidates files and contribute their opinions to the process, and clinical reps have responsibility for gathering and representing the students’ perspective on potential new members of our community. Students should be aware that the faculty had to go to considerable effort to persuade not only the Dean of the Graduate School but also the university attorney to allow current students to have access to applicant’s folders and participate in the selection process. Each of you actually signed an “informed consent” statement granting such access to your materials when you applied to the program. The faculty will continue to defend this process as an integral facet of our efforts to create and sustain a true sense of community within the clinical program.