SG looks into possible scheduling changes

Representatives from two college-wide committees presented before Student Government on Wednesday, Oct. 9 to receive student input on proposed changes to the current scheduling grid and academic policies.

Provost and VP of Academic Affairs Jacqueline Taylor and Frank Cooper, director of Records & Registration, addressed issues with the current scheduling grid, which involves four-credit Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday classes with a scheduled “fourth hour” on Wednesday, which departments may choose to utilize if they wish.

“The scheduling grid that we’ve used has a lot of inefficiencies built into it,” said Taylor, who is also co-chair of the Committee on Strategic Planning and Priorities. “So as a result, a number of our classes sit empty more often than they might wish. A second thing that a lot of people made me aware of was the lunch hour from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. means that the cafeteria and other food service facilities get real heavy traffic from the 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. time slot.”

Frank Cooper discusses scheduling issues. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

As a result, Cooper met with the deans of many schools on campus and proposed three alternate scheduling grids, which he presented to SG, in an effort to prevent scheduling conflicts and to utilize space on campus more effectively. Decisions must be made on a new scheduling grid by December 2014 in order to implement it by fall of 2015.

Barbara Strassman, chair of the Committee on Academic Programs and Patricia Van Hise, assistant dean of the School of Science, requested student input on changes to the existing policies on repeating and withdrawing from a course. The current policy on repeating a course dictates that students may repeat a course once without approval. If a student wishes to take the class more than twice, the student must obtain a signature from the chair of the department of the student’s major, as well as a signature from the department of the class the student wishes to take. No significant changes will be made to the existing policy except for revisions in wording and the addition of a recommendation for students to meet with their advisors before proceeding.

Changes will be made to the policy regarding course withdrawal, however, which will now also address course withdrawal during the winter and Maymester terms. Strassman also explained how the two policies will now affect each other.

“If you take STAT 115 and you withdraw, and then you decide to take it again, that’s your second attempt,” Strassman said. “You’re done. You can’t take it a third time, whereas, currently, you could.”

In response to concerns from SG members, Strassman clarified that these policies only apply if a student withdraws from a course after the add/drop period has ended.

Vice President of Governmental Affairs Alex Brown also addressed progress with SG’s voter registration drives for the upcoming state elections, as well as a potential Gubernatorial Dinner in Eickhoff, similar to last year’s presidential dinner, featuring foods like steak and salmon.

Class of 2015 President Brian Garsh also mentioned some updates from the Dining Services Committee regarding a Halloween-themed night at Eickhoff on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and a multicultural night, featuring foods inspired by the many languages taught at the College, on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Next week, two organizations, the Association of Students for Africa and To Write Love on Her Arms, will present to the SG general body, which will then vote on whether to officially recognize the clubs.