Meetings are often used as a time when the organizer speak “to” other members of the group telling them information. Revealing new information is an important part of any meeting, but communication should flow both from the organizer and from the members of the meeting if the meeting is meant to be a collaboration. What often happens is that there is a perfunctory call for items from the members that doesn’t result in much information partly because members don’t want to be blindsided and embarrassed by their opinion in view of some new information that is coming by the organizer or administrator. Then usually, a strict agenda is set including a few minutes for “questions” at the end of the meeting. The administrator (or the administrator with the people they have carefully prepared) talks throughout the meeting with few responses from the attendees. Sometimes, what ever the administrator talks about is not really the problem of the attendees and so the attendees don’t have much to say. Meanwhile, the problems of the attendees go unaddressed. This is a problem because the staff and professors usually do most of the significant work and meet with students.
Another way to change that is to have a chance at the beginning of the meetings to chat and discuss the kinds of problems the staff and professors are having and then generate a list of issues to address either at that meeting or the next. Alright, well that’s a start. More later.