Shepherd University recognizes both the right and responsibility of the university administration, the faculty, and the student body to participate in the governance of the institution. The governance functions at Shepherd have three distinct areas: 1) that area in which the university administration and/or faculty have primary responsibility, 2) that area in which there is a shared responsibility among the university administration, faculty, and student body, and 3) that area in which the students have primary responsibility. The area in which the university administration and/or faculty have primary responsibility is outlined in the constitution of the Shepherd University Assembly and the Shepherd University Administrative Policy Manual. Through student participation as full-fledged members of those university committees whose decisions affect student life, there is an area of governance in which there is shared responsibility among the university administration, faculty, and student body. Student representation on these committees is established to varying degrees, with the rationale being there are areas in which the university administration and faculty should have a greater voice in rendering decisions, and areas in which students should have a greater voice in rendering decisions. The inclusion of students on these committees serves a twofold purpose: 1) to give students an opportunity to present their opinions and recommendations in a manner in which they are assured of being heard and considered, and 2) to give them a direct voice, through voting on these committees, in matters that affect student life.
In matters that concern the internal functioning of student organizations, students have the right to autonomy as long as they are functioning within the realm of what is considered legal by national regulations. All campus organizations are required to have an advisor. The role of the advisor is to 1) advise in matters of internal function, and 2) insist that the activities of the organization fall within university rules and regulations.
It is the intent of Shepherd University that the voice of students be heard and considered. But the university insists that complaints are heard and grievances are resolved through an orderly process. The university also recognizes that once recommendations, complaints, and grievances have been expressed, the administration, faculty, and students must make decisions and establish policies.
In order to ensure that students are heard Shepherd takes the position that students are free, both individually and collectively, to express their opinions to the university administration and university committees. At the beginning of each academic year, a complete list of all committees and the responsibilities of each committee is published and distributed throughout the campus so that students know to whom they may express their ideas. Students should also feel free to approach members of the university administration on those matters that are the responsibility of the various administrators. In the event students have questions about the lines of communication, they are encouraged to seek assistance from a member of the Student Affairs staff.