Doc Nagel's Top 100 Things
66. Academic Senate meetings. I just love 'em. Academic Senate is the forum in which faculty authority is most basically exercised, and in which faculty voices on any issue on campus are most publicly heard. Some folks serve in academic senate because they've been drafted by their departments, and some of them loathe it. Some of them bring homework to grade. Some of them fall asleep.
I was first drafted by my department some years ago, in order for me to find a more integral role in the university. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and the rationale, at the time, made sense. In any case, I took to it immediately (which is unsurprising given my past history of speaking on behalf of the graduate students in the philosophy program at Duquesne - and eventually convincing the faculty to have two grad student reps at department meetings -, and my general level of political involvement, smart-assery, etc.).
I like debate. I like airing issues. I like political theater. I thrive on being informed. I thrive on taking an active role in big decisions.
What's kinda weird to me is the basic divide between faculty who are committed academic senators and those who aren't. It seems like some folks just "get it," and some just don't. Why would that be?