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11.23.2004

What I wanted

As part of a settlement with the school, I proposed they create a Student Advocacy Center. I spent some time talking with administration at school's around the country that have created such a place. In general, they had an adult -- a full-time employee -- who was the student advocate general. This person was responsible, at the student's request, to mediate disputes or conflicts between a student and an employee of the school. They also had either volunteer or employed student advocates who assisted that advocate general.

This would help mitigate the problem that employees at Taylor almost always back each other up, not matter what the situation. I agree with Annie, I turned every where I could for help when I was at Taylor and I was only disciplined for it. That's a problem. If I had someone who could've helped me -- things might have been different.

The details of this center are something we could workout with Taylor and amongst ourselves. But if we're serious about doing something, then, I think this is something we can ask of Taylor. I worked out more detailed plans on how the center should work, policy decisions, etc. That's something we can talk about here.

Now, the question becomes, what's the best way to ask this of Taylor? My way didn't work. And, is this the best thing to ask for? Will this address all our concerns?

UPDATE: These were my specific guidlines:

· The university will immediately and without hesitation create a student advocacy center.

· The center will exist as a confidential service to advocate for students and students alone on the Upland campus, representing them in any disputes involving anyone connected to the university, whatever the issue, at the student’s request.

· The rules, procedures and protocols of the advocacy center will be set-up by an advisory committee consisting of no less than three (3) current students, (2) professors, (2) members of residence life or student development and (2) alumni with no current connection to the university. Finalization of rules, procedures and protocols and activation of the center will be made by majority vote of the student senate.

· It, at a minimum, must employ one (1) adult general advocate who is not a graduate of the university and four (4) volunteer or paid advocates selected from the current student body, at least one from each class.

· Every attempt must be made to employ advocates with no presumed or actual conflict of interest, who will adhere strictly to written privacy policies and not fear to fight for the rights and interests of the students they represent.