Student Affairs Committee
Report to Senate
May 19, 2006

Online Communities – SAC issues the following statement:

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) enthusiastically and unanimously endorses the creation of an online student community for our student body.

The characteristics of our nontraditional nature allow our students the opportunity to pursue their college educations even with their busy adult lives. However, this flexibility and uniqueness also creates isolation. Our students and alumni are missing opportunities for interaction and interchange. There are currently very few dedicated spaces, either physical or virtual, for students to meet and dialogue, and we are far behind other colleges in this endeavor. With the advent of online registration and more of our support services moving to online locations, there is the potential for even more isolation from one another.

An online community will greatly enhance the college experience for our students. It will be a place where all of our students, from any location, can go to connect with one another, to find friends, support and solutions. The college will benefit from the ability to gain feedback, to identify and address commonly voiced problems, and to provide clear and accurate information in a timely fashion, and therefore improve retention. The online community is an inexpensive alternative to the physical spaces available at traditional colleges and its time at Empire State College has arrived.

We unanimously support the creation of a college-wide online student community.

Student All College Conference – The title and theme of the 2006 Conference has been announced:

Embracing Difference: Redefining the Community of Scholars

What does it mean to be a scholar? What counts as scholarship? These are the questions that we hope to address from broad, interdisciplinary perspectives. Our goal is to build a community of scholars interested in redefining traditional concepts of scholars and embracing other ways of knowing. The 2006 Student All College conference is designed for Empire State College students to showcase their learning and knowledge, share academic discoveries with peers and to reach across the boundaries of space, discipline and difference. The conference will publicly recognize the extraordinary work done by our students and celebrate their academic and intellectual achievements, as well as contributing to their growth as scholars and is an opportunity for students to shape interdisciplinary scholarly dialogue within the college.

SUNY Student Assembly – SAC Co-Chair Lore Westcott and NFC student representative Novena Dunhour attended the SUNY Student Assembly meeting in April.

Students Assisting Students – this subcommittee of SAC will be working on a statement calling for the administration to create a means of recognizing and supporting student clubs and organizations.

Respectfully submitted,

Lorelei Westcott and Kathleen Egan
SAC Co-chairs