anth 345 obs ex

anth 345 obs ex - Conflict Resolution and The Undergraduate...

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Conflict Resolution and The Undergraduate Student Government. I observed a meeting of the Undergraduate Student Government. The USG is an organization made up of students designed to represent the students collectively to the rest of the larger USC community (administration, alumni, relevant businesses). The people in USG are elected to their positions by the student body, but though they mirror a republican government, they are not, because they do not actually govern anything. The USG is an association designed collectively advances the goals of the student body, and to redress any grievances of students. USG also has a complex system to resolve internal disputes. It is this function of conflict resolution, internal and external, that I will focus my discussion. The first thing I observed about the meeting was its setting. It was on the second floor of Topping Student Center. Though, I doubt the student body in actually has any real ownership or control over TSC; it, more than any other building on campus can be seen as belonging to the student. The fact that the meeting is in the student center, rather than say Taper Hall reserved from 6-8, serves as a spatial ritual of the USG. In the room there was a panel of nine who were grandiosely positioned with their backs to the large second story window. This is where the student senators and person running the meeting would sit. There was general seating along the sides of the room facing the center where everyone else sat. This section, as well as the people sitting their, was referred to collectively as “the floor”. Opposite the panel was a podium positioned in the front of the room.
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The meeting was called to order by the person in the center of the panel. You knew he was special because he ran dictated the course of the meeting, yet he was the only one without a name placard in front of him. But he did have a gavel – a symbol I recognized. He was the Vice President of USG, who has no role in a meeting of the Legislative Student Senate except to enforce and guide the parliamentary procedure that the meeting was conducted under. The meeting started with a quick progression of procedure. It happened quickly and I observed that much of it was just them thoughtlessly going through the motions. The floor was instructed that each person could speak twice for a maximum of two minutes. If you wanted to speak after that a senator
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  • Spring '06
  • Moore
  • Parliament, Undergraduate Student Government, Vice President of the United States, USG, Students' union, Students' unions

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anth 345 obs ex - Conflict Resolution and The Undergraduate...

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