朝邦文教基金會 CP Yen Foundation

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2月份朝邦對話訊息『落實學生自治 創造三贏』Self-governing Student Body: a 3-way winning strategy

落實學生自治 創造三贏

作者:張桂芬, CPF 朝邦文教基金會董事暨核心引導師

 

四年前,以宇宙學為研究專長的國立東華大學 物理系李大興教授,受當時的校長及副校長之邀加入學校行政團隊,擔任學務長一職。在學生時代不曾參加過任何的社團活動,也不曾踏入學務處一步的李大興,學務工作對他來說就像一個未知的「黑洞」,只因為對學校、對學生的那份愛,讓他帶著一份熱忱、好奇及開放的心態踏進了學務「黑洞」,並帶領學務處同仁在學務工作上創造了新的里程碑。

今年一月,李大興圓滿完成四年任期,回顧這四年學務工作,變革起始於當時邀請朝邦文教基金會的執行長Jorie及董事Vincent進行一天半的工作坊。在這工作坊中最重要的是討論出學務處的工作核心。李大興指出:『這些核心目標,最困難的就是落實「培養學生自治及自發學習態度」,因為這需要大量與學生對話及溝通才能推展,如果沒有學生的參與,一切都是口號。』這一期的對話新訊息,我們就一起來分享這個學務「素人」,如何將「公民參與」落實在複雜的學務工作中。

位處花蓮的國立東華大學有一萬多名學生,學校宿舍有六千個床位,分佈在六棟建築物,並以「莊」為社區化的管理單位。原由學生擔任的莊主及宿舍委員,擔任的是執行學務處指派的工作,夾在住宿同學與學校行政人員中間,面對同學的抱怨,只能反應給學務處;要進行宿舍的管理及生活公約維護工作,也因為都是學生,因缺乏執行的公權力及公信力,往往吃力不討好。

學生沒有自主性,就無法規劃自己想做的事。於是宿舍組織及運作方式在學務處同仁反覆討論及推演之下,有了關鍵性的改變:成立「學生宿舍自治委員會行政中心」團隊。這是一個從資深宿委中經過選舉遴選出來的行政核心團隊,負責統籌所有學生宿舍的相關活動,同時也擔任學生宿舍自治委員會與學務處之間的溝通橋樑。

在宿舍管理上,由學校制定規章的時代已過,放手讓學生自訂章程、公約則是東華學生另一個公民訓練的開始。學生宿舍每個莊就像一個小型的社區。莊主及宿委們在學期初及學期末,都必須召開莊民大會,除了行政宣導外,也開放讓莊民們討論及決議宿舍共同的生活公約,讓學生開始學習自治及自主管理,學務處堅守的是保護學生生命安全的界限,允許學生嘗試、犯錯,並從中學習。

四年前,有一棟宿舍因監視器壞了,學務處基於學生安全上的考量,暫時關閉了一扇人力監管較不及的側門。此舉引起學生抱怨連連,學務處多次溝通仍無法讓學生接受,只好選擇重新開放,並且請宿委及管理員加強巡邏。

這扇側門開放經過三年的運作,該莊莊民開始有人反映經常會看到非莊民經由這扇門進出,同時宿舍內也有多起東西失竊事件,因此新學年的莊民大會中,有莊民提案將該扇門關閉並經莊民大會決議後通過了。新措施實施後不久後,又有學生在「校長有約」與校長面對面的會談中,表達此扇門關閉後造成許多不便,希望校方能重新開放。這時,學務處建議學生把此議題帶回到莊民大會中去討論,學校會支持莊民大會所做的任何決議。由於學生可以透過參與的方式共同解決宿舍管理的問題,落實學生自治及自我管理,這些年來,學生對學校宿舍的抱怨明顯減少許多。

分享管理權,並下放活動執行權給學生團隊,學生可以有自己的想法,並且進一步實現自己的企劃構想,讓學生成為學校行政單位的工作夥伴,學校也真的成為學生實踐學習的最佳演練場。李大興說,擔任學務長的職務,最重要的發現是:有了「權力」才有權利去授權,將「權力」分享給組織裡面有滿腔熱情而缺乏「權力」的人,才能夠共同推動組織的成長,創造學校、學生、學務處三贏的局面。「改變不見得看得到立即成果,但不改變永遠只能跟在別人後面走,只要願意改變就有機會走在別人前面。」李大興始終如此相信。



*李大興簡介:現任國立東華大學物理系教授,曾任物理系系主任、前學生事務長 (2012~2015)

Self-governing Student Body: 

a 3-way Winning Strategy


Author: Jackie Chang, CPF
Board Director and Core Facilitator at CP Yen Foundation
 
Four years ago, Da-Shin Lee, Professor of the Department of Physics at National Dong Hwa University with research interest in Cosmology, was asked by the University President and Vice President to serve as the Dean of Student Affairs.  At that time however, Da-Shin had never before been involved in student affairs; including when he was a college student he also had never even stepped into the Office of Student Affairs! To Da-Shin the administrative tasks of the Office of Student Affairs felt like a "black hole". Nonetheless, because of his love for the university he bravely dived into that “black hole” with passion, curiosity and an open mind. Since then Da-Shin and his team have continued to lead the office through a series of milestone achievements.

January 2016 marked the conclusion of Da-Shin's four-year term as the Dean of Student Affairs. Looking back, he recalls that changes began following the one-and-half-day workshop facilitated by Jorie Wu and Vincent Chen, respectively CEO and Director of the CP Yen Foundation. The most significant workshop outcome for Da-Shin was the identification of the core tasks for Office of Student Affairs. Da-Shin pointed out that "among these core objectives, the most challenging one was to facilitate the development of the students’ competence in autonomy and active learning.”

This issue of the CP Yen Foundation newsletter shares the story of how this newcomer to the Student Affairs Office integrated “civic engagement” into the complex operations of student affairs.

National Dong Hwa University is located in Huanlien county and has a student body of over 10,000 and manages dormitory lodging for 6,000 students across six buildings. The community of dormitories is managed in units of “halls”, in which students serve on dormitory committees and implement tasks assigned by the Office of Student Affairs. Students also act as the liaison between residents and the university administration with responsibilities that include dormitory management and guideline enforcement. But since these committee members are also student peers, they often encounter challenges when implementing these tasks.

Students needed autonomy in order to fulfil their visions. The practice of continuous discussions and planning at the Office of Student Affairs enabled a critical change to emerge: the formation of an “Administration Team”. This team consists of senior members of dormitory committees in charge of dormitory activities, and would serve as the bridge between the Dormitory Committee and Office of Student Affairs.

For the dormitory management, the tradition of rules set by the school were replaced by guidelines determined by the students. Empowering the students to establish their own guidelines and conditions provided further opportunities for the students to learn about civic engagement because each dormitory hall is a small community. At the beginning and the end of each semester, members of the dormitory committee and administration team organise community meetings to focus on communication of administrative tasks, open discussion and modification of the students' common guidelines. With the protection of lives and safety of students as the bottom line, students are able to learn valuable lessons in self-government and self-management in these meetings. The open attitude taken by Office of Student Affairs enabled students to try and learn from the process.

Four years ago, a dormitory surveillance system broke down and the Office of Student Affairs decided to close a remote side door for the safety reason. This action led to a barrage of complaints from students who refused to accept the decision to close the side door that caused inconvenience, and as a result the office felt compelled to reopen the side door and increase the security measures in the area.

After about three years, residents of this dormitory hall began to notice non-residents going through this door. Numerous theft incidents occurred as well. During the hall meeting at the beginning of the semester, a proposal by residents to close the side door was passed by vote. However, after the decision was implemented, some of the students raised the issue again in a face-to-face meeting between students and the President of the University. These students emphasized the inconvenience of closing the side door and proposed the door to be reopened. At this time, the Office of Student Affairs suggested the issue to be discussed during the hall meetings and reassured that the University would stand by the decision reached from the meeting. By allowing students to participate in jointly resolving dormitory issues, the students were able to shape their own solutions through self-government and self-management. As the result, complaints about dormitory life have decreased significantly in recent years.

Empowering students with an authority to manage and implement actions enabled students with the freedom to dream and realise their visions. As a result, students became partners with the school administration, and the university becomes a true venue for students to exercise their learning. Da-Shin thinks the most important discovery for him as the Dean of Student Affairs is that the only ones with power have the rights to empower. And when the “power” is shared to the ones who have passion but are powerless, they together can help the organisation grow, creating a 3-way winning strategy for the university, the students, and the Office of Student Affairs. Da-Shin firmly believes that “while changes may not produce immediate results, not changing will only make you lag behind. As long as you are willing to change, there is a chance that you may walk ahead of others.”

 

*Da-Shin Lee currently is the Professor of the Department of Physics at National Dong Hwa University. He has formerly held the positions of Chairman of the Department of Physics and Dean of Student Affairs (2012-2015) at National Dong Hwa University.

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