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Update: Community Governance Task Force

— Christian Feuerstein '94

At Reunion 2010, Jennifer Berman ‘84 and retired former faculty Al Denman held their first meeting for the Community Governance Task Force.

“About 50 to 70 people showed up,” said Berman via e-mail, although she joked, “but I’m not very good at estimating crowds.”

Denman said via e-mail, “We broke [attendees] into groups according to era...and asked each group to poll all attendees on three questions: (1) What did you cherish most about community and community governance? (2) What were the challenges of community and community governance? (3) What lessons have you carried with you from community and community governance?”

Denman reported that the responses were overwhelming, “about 200 responses to the three questions.”

“At the moment, we are just gathering information,” Berman said. “This is just the beginning of that process.” However, she is very excited about getting more input from far-flung Antiochians.

“We are creating a forum on the Internet to gather more information from Antiochians on their experiences with community and community governance,” she said, “and we are working with [Director of Communications] Gariot Louima and other folks at the College to make that happen.”

Also, she said, “This fall, we hope to do a tour of alumni chapter groups around the country, to have workshops similar to the one held at Reunion.”

In the meantime, the Task Force will be meeting in-person in August. That meeting will be mostly focused on outreach to as many Antioch College alumni as possible. “Then we need to categorize and compile the information in a useful way for the new community of 2011,” Berman said. “Further down the line, we will go through Antioch’s history of community governance and make that accessible to the new Antioch community. Also, we need to think about exactly what, in terms of community governance, should be in place when people arrive in 2011.”

She continued, “We really want establishing community governance to be an educational process for the new community of 2011, but there also has to be something in place so the community isn’t entering into chaos.”

The Task Force members are: Shadia Alvarez ‘96, Jennifer Berman ‘84 (executive secretary), Levi Cowperthwaite ‘08, Al Denman (chair), Tendaji Ganges ‘71, Jewel Graham, John Knox ‘68, Chelsea Martens ‘08, Karen Mulhauser ‘65, Tracey Patterson ‘88, Edith Seashore ‘50, Steve Schwerner ‘60, and Wally Sikes.

The Independent will have news about the fall chapter tour of the Task Force as it becomes available.