**I was once passing by the reception of my department at school to collect class attendance sign sheets and when I told the secretary I was the class representative for students specializing in applied math, she literally cut me off and told me to go straight in, motioning at the chairman’s office. Twice, I tried to tell her I just came to pick up the forms and did not want to speak to the chairman and twice she cut me off even before I had uttered a word. I was feeling adventurous that morning, so I eventually just walked into the chairman’s office and happened upon a department weekly meeting. The chairman spoke at great length about how he hoped this new initiative of having class representatives attend department meetings would bring a greater understanding and foster a sense of community and belonging among students and faculty alike.**
**Towards the end of the meeting**
Chariman: Now, class representatives, does any of you have any comments, questions or suggestions?
**Remember how I said I was feeling adventurous?**
**My hand shoots up and he motions for me to speak**
Kathleen: I think this is a commendable initiative and I’m happy to be here, but for it to be effective, I think that everyone needs to be included. I’ve noticed that we are only 5 class reps present and this is obviously not an accurate representation of the actual number of classes in this department. Personally, I did not know about this meeting and I’m willing to bet the other class representatives aren’t here because they don’t know it is happening. Now, I don’t know how you got word of the meeting out but perhaps a more effective means would be to collect contacts and be texting the information?
Chairman: Well, how did you end up at this meeting then?
Kathleen: Well, I was passing by the reception when I was literally shoved into your office and before I could leave, someone offered me a cup of tea and some samosa, so I thought maybe I would take a seat and see what was going on.
**He got a good laugh out of that one.**