Margaret is the president of her student government. She supervises an executive council with 9 members, and each one has significant responsibilities on student government. Recently, Jamie, on of the council members, has been very distant. He sporadically attends weekly meetings, which are required, but has a legitimate excuse each time. He responds to emails late, if at all, making it difficult to compensate for his absences. Without the consultation that occurs at weekly meetings, Jaime is missing the feedback of other executive council members, who have expressed concerns about serious problems in the initiatives being implemented by his branch.

The conversations she has had with Jaime about these behaviors have not created any change. Student government is a serious commitment, and Margaret thinks it is important to hold Jaime accountable to his commitment. Margaret knows that Jaime has had a challenging quarter, with very hard classes and an overwhelming amount of work for another position he holds at the university, and debates whether or not she should discipline him further.

If you were Margaret, how would you balance accountability, discipline, and understanding? How does your student government balance these ideals and hold its member’s accountable? Are your measures affective?

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