|Report From the
'Student Working Party' (April 2011)
of Sylvie Marshall, Mark Pearce and Monique van den Dries
the ABM in Riva del Garda (2009) it was proposed to add a student representative
to the board. The board suggested at the ABM in The Hague (2010) to attribute
responsibility for student affairs to a Board member. It was suggested
at the ABM however, to appoint an actual representative who is elected
temporary working group that was created to prepare a proposal for a statutes
amendment, discussed the various pros and cons of the options. Despite
the fact that everybody agrees that it is very important to stimulate student
involvement, there was no consensus on the way to achieve this. Therefore,
the working group has come up with three options. These are:
to change the statutes according to the suggestions provided in Appendix
main arguments are:
to make sure that students become involved in EAA-matters; now students
are not on the board or the other committees, as it is very difficult,
if not impossible, for a student to gain the support of the professional
archaeologists in the association, particularly since many of the students
are under the supervision of those other members as their professors etc.
to make sure that their interests are better represented; the association
is not currently seen by students as representing their interests or offering
them any useful benefit to being a member. Students need to see the EAA
as relevant to them. At present, the low number of student members and
even lower active participation by them, indicates that this is not the
treating students as a 'special interest' group with particular needs,
is not a new concept. The EAA just needs to embrace the concept.
not to change the statutes;
main arguments are:
there are already various opportunities for students, as being ordinary
members, to take part in EAA-activities and to enter the board. It is for
instance possible for student members to nominate their follow students.
Each year more than 100 students join the annual meeting, so there should
be enough people to support a nomination. About the same amount of people
vote, so if it is being organised that students vote (and the message is
being communicated to students), the chance is rather high that a student
is elected. Presumably many members would even like to see more young people
on the board, so they even may end up with many votes.
as a principle, EAA has no special interest groups represented at the board.
To abolish this principle would mean that other interest groups can demand
a special treatment too;
there are various organisational difficulties involved in a statutes change:
for instance it is very difficult to define 'a student' on an European
level. It has to be defined though if this person represents this group.
And he/she must be replaced once he/she stops being a student. Moreover,
students would have to serve equal terms (3 years), but many students are
hardly interested already in the first year to become a board member (of
any board). So, there is a big chance that part of their term they are
not a student anymore and then they have to be replaced.
to create a committee that will stimulate student involvement according
to the suggestions given in appendix II.
main arguments are:
there is no indication that only a (problematic) statutes change will help
to improve student involvement: it has not been tried before to involve
students better through less problematic ways, i.e. by improving communication
and by improving facilities for communication (through a committee);
the creation of a committee can be effectuated fairly soon (as opposed
to awaiting a change of statutes - which probably will not be accepted
at the next ABM as there is no consensus on this issue).
creating a committee is a flexible solution: the effects can be evaluated
after a while: if these are not satisfying, additional measurements (like
a statutes change) may still be considered.
I: Suggestions to change the EAA-Statutes and EAA-Handbook
Change in article IV (Organisation), part 3:
board shall consist of three or four officers and six ordinary members."
"The board shall consist of three or four officers and six ordinary members.
board preserves one chair of the six ordinary board members for a student
alternative is to change "The board shall consist of three or four officers
and six ordinary members."
"The board shall consist of three or four officers and seven ordinary
board preserves one chair of the seven ordinary board members for a student
for the board to decide on:
the board/membership want to create an extra chair or preserve one chair
board members for a student representative?
extra chair in the board means additional costs, one chair for the student
means there will be one ordinary board member less to take up non-student
the latter case, this representative is considered an ordinary board member
and as such,
other rules and regulations of the statutes and handbook are applicable
to this person. If it is added as a special member, in all another regulations
it has to be specified whether this rule applies to this member or not.
Moreover, it has consequences for the voting procedure within the board.
Definition of student
student representative on the board will be the only member that actually
represents a particular group from within the European archaeological community.
Therefore it is important that this person is actually part of this group.
The question is whether this needs to be secured in the statutes. It could
be done by adding a definition:
student representative is a person who can demonstrate (through a subscription
or invoice) to be studying at a university or other institution for higher
education, in order to get a bachelor or master degree.
for the board to decide on:
students study and work and some even have already retired. Can they represent
students as well? Is there an age restriction? Should all kinds of students
(full time - part time - contract education?) be allowed to represent this
what about PhD's. They are in many countries not considered to be a student,
because they earn a living through a university appointment or through
is it being checked that a member is a student and pays a reduced fee?
Maybe we can use the same criteria?)
is of course possible to keep is simple and to experience first what happens
without these specifications being made and only to make further arrangements
if this turns out to be necessary.
students actually represent a particular group, they preferably are part
of this group (see 2). But students may finish their studies within the
period that they serve. Is this considered a problem? If not, no additional
regulation has to be added to the Statutes. The term is only three years.
It should in any case be checked by the Nomination Committee whether a
candidate for election will still be a student and is expected to be a
student for a while, at the time the elections will be held.
this is considered a problem, it has to be organised that they resign once
they are not a student anymore. This then will have to be defined in the
Statutes. In the Statutes it can be added to article IV (Organisation),
the student representative is no longer entitled to subscribe to the association
as a student member, he/she can no longer represent students in the board.
This representative will be replaced after the following elections.
nomination and election procedure for this student representative is the
same as for other candidates. No statute changes are required.
could be considered to add in the EAA-handbook that the candidates turn
in a demonstration of their subscription as a student together with their
candidate statement. (which is not to be made publicly).
II: suggestions for creating a Committee for Student affairs
involvement could be promoted through the creation of a Student Affairs
Committee. This committee could transmit issues that need to be discussed
by the board, and could stimulate students to actively take part in all
EAA-activities to which they are entitled as they are full members.
chair of this committee and the other members should be students and could
be nominated by the student members of EAA. Nominations could be called
via email/Facebook etc, stipulating that to be nominated for a position
on the committee, any nominee must first be/become a member of the EAA.
needs to be considered whether a special regulation for election is needed
(which differs from the guidelines in the EAA-handbook).
committee could select a board member to become their liaison.
established, the committee's role should be to draw up an action plan to
stimulate students to become much more involved in EAA-activities. There
are numerous possibilities, like including a student day with student sessions
at the annual meeting, a student entry at the website, a dedicated part
in the newsletter, etc. Then it could broadcast via email/Facebook/Academia
etc the benefits of being a member of EAA, and offer some stimulus for
order to implement a student Committee, it needs to be added to the EAA-handbook
in Part II, article 3B (Non-Statutory Committees).
in the EAA-handbook Guidelines for the executive board, under the heading
Committees and Working Parties it can be specified that there is a special
guideline for the liaison between the Student Affairs Committee and one
of the board members.