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Chaparral 2019-2020: 28.5 Senate Update

To the Folks That I Know

by Piper Rooney
Academic Senate President


I've tried to write this submission a few times this evening. I’ve mentioned the powerful and reassuring presentation we received at today’s 5/12 Faculty Meeting from the Distance Education team (recorded and posted on the Guild website), I’ve written about shared governance and its undaunted, stately progress through the deserted streets of GCC, and I’ve tried a little piece on isolation and social distancing. However, I realize the article that wants to be written, despite my obstinate fingers, is the one where I say, “I’ll miss serving you in this capacity” – ! Oh, it’s a maudlin little thing, trimmed in black lace like a face mask worn by Edgar Allen Poe. But here it is, hauntingly insistent!

The last three years have flown by. We’ve had tumultuous moments, times of triumph, times of discord, times of unity or challenge, meandering debates, Guided Pathways, votes of No Confidence, votes of too much confidence....

Through all of these, the Senate has been a steadfast, deliberative, ethical, earnest, playful, dedicated body – All of your representatives have worked hard to arrive at decisions and recommendations supporting your work, your academic freedom, and your students’ rights to access and equity, vigilantly protecting the integrity of our academic programs. They’ve been true to the 10+1 – even when some of us have strayed. They, and most especially, Senate Exec. and Frankie, have worked hard to help me understand our senatorial responsibilities and our wisest actions. 

Senate subcommittees have been diligent. Our Distance Education and Curriculum and Instruction committees are showing their mettle this summer by working through the “break” to get curricula and DE addenda completed for fall. The Open Educational Resource committee has quietly transformed our attitudes toward assigned texts (and student equity) since its inception, and Student Equity itself has suffered a sea-change (Oh, Wild Bill Shakes, forgive me!) into something rich, strange, and oddly called SEAP. Guided Pathways will get there. All will be right with the world. (Vote in November).

So, as I draw back my black-fringed yashmak, dabbing my eyes on a corner, allow me this last moment to say: Thank you to all those who’ve given of their time and intellect to serve the Senate, and to April Bey, Michael Davis, Roger Dickes, Cameron Hastings, Beth Kronbeck, Kevin Mack, Rob Mauk, Cindy Pollack, and Andy Young – the best Senate Exec a girl could ask for advice.

Last thanks – as always wherever Senate is concerned – go to Frankie Strong, without whom! Thank you times infinity.

On the occasions when I thought I couldn’t keep up, one of my colleagues would remind me: You’ve chosen to serve in this capacity!  So, thank you again for all the help in serving (here come the waterworks) – it’s been an honor.

Stay well, stay sane, stay connected. We’ll meet again (on campus) some sunny day!


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