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UH governing bodies issue statement of shared governance

The UH governing bodies’ presidents expressed solidarity after Harvey, and pledged to uphold the university’s values. | Sonny Singh/The Cougar

The presidents of UH’s Student Government Association, Staff Council and Faculty Senate released a statement of shared governance on Tuesday, Sept. 5, expressing a united commitment to work together to move forward after Hurricane Harvey.

With the long-lasting ruin of Hurricane Harvey requiring extended work to recover from, UH Student Government Association President Winni Zhang, Staff Council President Reuben Parrish and Faculty Senate President Cathy Horn came together to give a the UH community a sentiment of solidarity in the face of the recovery ahead.

“Representing the University of Houston’s more than 50,000 students, staff, and faculty, we stand united,” the statement reads. “Everyone has been affected; together we move forward through this difficult time.”

In the statement, the presidential trio vowed to “meet the challenges of educating a dynamic mix of nontraditional and traditional students, promote excellence within the context of basic and applied research and scholarship and identify and respond to the economic, social and cultural challenges affecting the quality of life in the city of Houston, the state of Texas and the world through its education, research and service.”

Shared governance is essentially when the UH governing bodies convene to work on different initiatives, Zhang said. This instance is due to an unprecedented natural disaster that will have lasting effects on not only the UH community, but the city at large as well.

“We hope to create that (shared governance) throughout the year,” Zhang said. “We have monthly meetings with Faculty Senate, and hope to establish monthly meetings with staff council as well.”

Zhang said she and the other campus leaders wanted to send out a supportive message, expressing that the governing bodies were there for for any Cougars affected by Harvey.

“We wanted to send out a message of solidarity, and also just let them know that their three governing bodies that represent them know that this is an issue and that we will continue to push for resources, push for any kind of financial aid for students, etc, on our end,” Zhang said. “We just wanted to let everyone know that we’re here. We’re representing you and we’re here for you.”

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