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What Is It Like to Serve in Governance? An Interview with Laurie Williams

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Category: Governance

Published: 2017-04-12 00:00:01.000

<i>Laurie Williams first joined Montgomery College in 2006 in the Career/Transfer Center at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, where she worked for two years. She returned to the College in 2014 and is currently a nursing academic progression manager. In 2015 Laurie was elected as a staff member to the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Council, and this year she is serving as council chair.</i>

<b>MC Governance (MC): What motivated you to serve in governance?</b>

Laurie Williams (LW): I wanted to learn more about how the College functions, especially how different units and departments collaborate. I also wanted to be able to represent the students and colleagues I work with -- to provide the College with a perspective of our side of the College.

<b>MC: What is it like to be a council member? What do you actually do?</b>

LW: Being a council member involves a lot of listening -- listening to constituent concerns, listening to the various entities that make up the College, listening to other council members. At the end of the day, our responsibility is to work together to decide on what recommendations should be made or course of actions should be taken to ensure we have addressed the issue(s). We also take time to look back and examine outcomes and determine next steps.

<b>MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of governance?</b>

LW: In my opinion, the most important accomplishments include when students were able to effect change by making their voices heard through governance, for example the recent approval of a post-graduation celebration for students.

<b>MC: What are some ways your council can have an impact on student success?</b>

LW: We are doing what we can to hear from students. Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Council members attend events organized by students and we collaborate with Student Life for events that bring the campus council and students together. Last semester we held a chat between student senators and members of the council, and we hope to continue these conversations.

<b>MC: Do you think governance makes an impact on the College overall? If so, how?</b>

LW: Governance allows different members of the College community to better understand how we function individually, the challenges that we face and share, and ways we can more effectively work together. Governance provides the opportunity to be a bit more aware of all that happens at MC.

<b>MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve?</b>

LW: I would encourage them to learn all they can about the governance system: visit a council meeting to learn more about how governance functions and/or ask current members about the work they do.

<b>MC: Are there ways for people who aren't formally on a council to participate?</b>

LW: Absolutely! E-mail your council with questions or concerns, attend meetings of a council that represents you, and keep up with what is happening with governance through the website.

<i>This article is one in a continuing series. To read about the experiences of other governance members, please visit the governance website:</i>

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