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Student Council
September 30, 1970

The Board of Visitors of the University

Pavilion VIII, East Lawn

University of Virginia

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Student Council is endeavoring to establish positive programs into which student activism and genuine student concerns can be channeled. We seek to build upon past accomplishments in developing an even greater institution. In order to make Council a more effective representative of students, we have opened our committees to student participation and we will be attempting to develop more programs to make us more aware of student opinions and concerns.

President Shannon has successfully opened University committees to student membership, which has made the governing structure of the University more responsive and has strengthened student awareness of the problems as well as the promise of our University. Students have fully accepted the responsibilities of Committee membership and have demonstrated their willingness to work hard.

In addition, as students, we have demonstrated our sense of honor and responsibility via our Honor System and the continuance of its admirable tradition. Our judiciary system has demonstrated our willingness to adjudicate offenses by fellow students and to punish convicted offenders.

Despite this tradition of cooperation between administrators, faculty, and students at our University, there is a growing necessity for continuing and improving the present channels of communication. Though the University has continued to develop as an exciting institution, problems at home and abroad have produced in many of our fellow students feelings of estrangement. This had made communication difficult and has resulted in frustration resulting from a lack of information and participation.

To alleviate this difficulty, more efforts must be made, by ourselves, our fellow students, faculty, administrators, and yourselves, to open up further the decision-making processes of the University.

Council strongly believes that virtually every action of the Board of Visitors affects the students of the University, and therefore we respectfully urge you, as our Board of Visitors, to allow three current students to sit with you as non-voting representatives throughout your sessions in Charlottesville.

These students would serve two essential functions:

1) provide the Board with a ready-source of student opinion and information, and

2) provide through these representatives a basis for student understanding of Board activities. We recognize of course that these students will abide by the same standards of confidentiality that the Board members themselves observe.

As possible means to implement these proposals we recommend that the Board of Visitors adopt one of the following methods of selection:

1) a general election by the student body

2) direct appointment by the Student Council

3) six nominations by the Student Council of which three are selected by the Board.

These students would be selected in the Spring of each year to serve a one-year term. Any student selected at this time would serve on the Board of Visitors until the Spring of 1971.

At this time we feel that the acceptance of non-voting representatives on the Board of Visitors is a necessary step in promoting the free interchange of ideas and policies among those interested in the betterment of the University of Virginia. However, the Student Council feels it would be advisable for the Board of Visitors to explore the feasibility of permitting these student representatives to express the views of their fellow students in a more meaningful manner through the acquisition of member-voting privileges.

We thank you for your consideration and cooperation.

Kevin L. Mannix Student Body President for the Student Council


cc: President Edgar F. Shannon Vice-President D. Alan Williams