The 2014 Nominations Committee (NomCom)—a seven-member group charged with selecting student representatives to University committees—has experienced a decline in student interest compared to previous years, with the number of applicants falling from 227 last year to 203 this year.
This year’s applicants could apply to 49 University committees—a decline from last year’s total of 51—ranging from Board of Trustees committees to the Board of Judicial Affairs. Following an interview process, successful applicants are confirmed by a simple majority vote from either the ASSU Undergraduate Senate or the Graduate Student Council (GSC), depending on their affiliation.
According to ASSU co-president Dan Ashton ’14, the University committees complement the Senate and GSC in terms of serving as important avenues for student opinions and concerns to be voiced.
“Most of the power students have is vested in the [University] committees,” Ashton said. “Stanford undergraduate students have appointees [selected by] the Nominations Committee to help represent student opinion.”
NomCom member Sarah Houamed ’17 acknowledged that the committee had made an effort to market the role of student representatives in a different way to previous years.
“Marketing was a big concern of ours, because last year there were some gaps in applications,” Houamed said. “Sometimes there were very few [applicants] from certain demographics or [there were] certain committees that didn’t get many applications.”
“We really wanted to reach different areas of campus,” she added. “We have a very diverse group [of applicants], [including] law students, graduate students [and] Ph.D. students.”
NomCom co-chair Anuj Patel ’16 noted that applications for some committees may reopen in the future, following the appointment of representatives to Board of Trustees and Academic Council committees.
Contact Peter Moon at pmoon ‘at’ stanford ‘dot’ edu.