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Grade Representative Term Limits Undermine The Role

The Grade Deans’ recent decision to limit Grade Representatives to a 1-year term is a questionable one. The role of a Grade Representative has always been to act as a link between members of the grade and the administration. Therefore, students should be able to serve for more than one year in order to establish an ongoing connection with their grade (and the administrators?).

The official reason for this change is to allow a wider range of students to have the opportunity to represent their grades. While I agree that this is an important idea, I would point out that the student body elects Grade Representatives. If students are frustrated with the performance of their representatives, there is nothing barring them from throwing their own hats in the ring and campaigning on a new platform.

The severity of this change surprised me. In my freshman year, after becoming a grade representative myself, I was told that grade representatives often served a full four years. Freshman year was a carefully planned experience. It went smoothly, without many difficulties for me and my fellow representatives to confront. However, I knew that future years presented more logistical challenges, which I was ready to tackle. Other representatives in my class expressed a lack of interest in running again, while capable friends of mine who hadn’t been Grade Representatives in the previous year expressed a desire to fill the positions. It is my sincere belief that these changes to the roster would have come to pass even without the new policy.

The primary responsibility of a grade representative isn’t to bring their particular ideas to their grade dean, it’s to listen to and project the ideas and struggles of their grade community. My suggestion would be to amend this policy by barring representatives from serving two consecutive years. This would allow a wide variety of students a fair chance at the role of grade representative while also offering a second term to deserving candidates.

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