Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Tell Me Your Thoughts: Research Results

Based on a survey of 18 out of 21 members on the Executive Committee and 8 interviews with some of those members and the artistic staff, the perceived issues with decision-making in RCS boils down to clarity of voting procedures and clarity of student agency or voting implications.

As seen in the survey report, about 66% of members are dissatisfied with the clarity of decision-making power that the student leaders have and about 83% of EC members are dissatisfied with the clarity of voting outcomes & implications. 

Many EC members expressed frustrations that when they walked into a vote, there was a lot of ambiguity about why they were voting, what exactly they were voting for, what the timeline or procedure of the vote was, what would happen in the outcome of a particular vote and how much jurisdiction the student leaders actually had over a decision. 
Quotes from EC Members by Mona Miao

These frustrations mainly arose out of two main votes that happened in the past two years: a vote on the timing and location of our upcoming international tour and a vote on whether or not RCS would be joining the Harvard Glee Club at the Harvard-Yale football concert. Both votes had major long-term implications for RCS in general, especially the second vote, and so they involved a lot of thoughtful discussion with different perspectives that lead to very tight votes. However, more importantly, both votes had implications for artistic vision, which is seen as more in the jurisdiction of the artistic staff, so this issue of balancing decision-making voice between all the stakeholders was very much brought to the forefront. 

Overall, while the student leaders agreed on the perceived issues with decision-making, conversations with the artistic staff and president and manager revealed that these issues are asymptomatic of the inherent challenges that come with being in a student-run organization but faculty-led choir and navigating the different identities of RCS, not just as students leaders but as artistic staff too. At the end of the day, it is reassuring to know that the student leaders and artistic staff are working in good faith to address these challenges. 

This page has paths:

This page references: