There's something wonderful about self governance. Last year I didn't understand what self governance was or what it meant to be a self governing community. There is often an emphasis on the Honor Code and SGA but what does that all mean? After my experiences at plenary this past weekend and my experience participating in the AMO (Alliance of Multicultural Organizations) workshop this semester, I have come to understand and own the fact that Bryn Mawr College is self governing.
I have seen problems revolving around club budgets and plenary attendance, or lack-thereof, be resolved or talked about through student-centered and student-led discussions. It is amazing to see the community come together around a central problem and not focus on the problems but the solutions. The solutions then either become plenary resolutions or easily fixable situations that are, once again, student-led and student-centered. One example that is very vivid in my mind is the budget issue that occurred in different AMO groups. Instead of having a pessimistic attitude we generated a list of solutions, a lot of which had an impact on the whole community not just the AMO groups. Everyone involved took some level of ownership and responsibility and together we made changes to help the advancement of our community.
That is what self governance is to me. It is the ability to take ownership of our roles, effectively communicate what we want, and collectively make decisions that enhance the community. We don't need an "adult" or administrator to tell us what to do; we can speak and decide for ourselves. We are held accountable for seeing our vision through and we initiate and continue progress. That's the beauty of self governance.
Look out for my next post about the intersection (and if there is one) between SGA and students of color on this campus.