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SG mulls decision to have an ‘ungraded’ course option

By Alyssa Sanford
Staff Writer

Student Government voted to recognize the Council of Student Teachers of Mathematics (CSTM), discussed changes to grading policies and announced upcoming TCNJ TEDx Talks during the general body meeting on Wednesday, March 4.

Governmental Affairs held a meeting on Sunday, Feb. 22, during which members voted to recognize CSTM, but the organization still sought SG recognition.

There are currently 20 members who attend general meetings and approximately 40 members who come to special events, typically held once a month.

CSTM — largely funded by the mathematics and science departments at the College — is different from other education clubs on campus because it not only provides professional development for future STEM educators, but also organizes events and activities that are appropriate for K-12 students.

To define how CSTM will impact the campus community beyond, members of the organization explained that there are existing ties between graduates of the math education program and CSTM that allow the organization to meet with high school math clubs and perform outreaches in schools outside of Ewing Township.

SG President Matthew Wells called for a vote to recognize the club, and the motion passed in favor of recognition with no debate.

As the meeting moved into discussion of new business, Vice President of Administration and Finance Kyle Holland announced that next week marks the beginning of the College’s beanie sale.

Purchasing an $8 beanie, available in white or navy blue, is crucial because of the frigid weather of late, according to Holland.

“When I walk to my 8 a.m. in the morning, I check my ears to see if they’re still there,” Holland said, adding that buying a beanie is a worthwhile investment. The price of the beanies will increase to $10 after next week.

Adam Bonnano, vice president of Community Relations, announced that events gearing up for Relay for Life will be held during the week of Monday, March 9, to Friday, March 13. The official theme of the week is “Paint the Campus Purple.”

Relay for Life is scheduled for Friday, April 10.

Bonnano also mentioned that Community Relations will be collecting student feedback about the Loop Bus now that “control (is) shifting from (the Student Finance Board) to the Office of Student Activities.”

Javier Nicasio, vice president of Equity and Diversity, announced that TCNJ Epcot, “a celebration of diversity,” will be held in the Brower Student Center on Thursday, March 26, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“It’s basically a multicultural festival that will be held throughout the entire Stud,” Nicasio said. Activities and attractions will include a mechanical bull ride, sumo wrestling suits, multicultural performances and a buffet.

Currently, over 25 organizations are co-sponsoring TCNJ Epcot.

As for other campus events, the junior class council confirmed that there are 10 acts lined up for TCNJ’s Got Talent, which will be held on Wednesday, March 11, at 8 p.m.

The sophomore class T-shirt sale is ongoing. President Robert Kinloch urged general body members, particularly freshmen, to buy an Eve Cruz T-shirt.

“They’re cool, they’re funny. It’s going to be relevant for the rest of your time here,” Kinloch said. “Freshmen … you can be the ones explaining what the legendary status of Eve is (to future classes).”

The cabinet announced that the College will host TEDx talks in Mayo Hall, which is essentially a TED talk that is open to the campus community, during the first week of May.

According to Vice President Michael Chiumento, SG will be “spearheading” the program, which boasts the theme “Light the Fire.”

Any student can audition to give a 10 to 15 minute speech on a topic connected to the theme, which Chiumento said was “purposefully left ambiguous.”

Finally, Bonanno, also a representative of the Committee of Academic Programming, discussed changes to grading policies in detail and asked for feedback from the general body.

The first measure was the introduction of an “ungraded” course option. Students can now take courses at the College either for credit or no credit, an option that was offered last spring for Maymester and traditional summer courses.

The language of this proposal is somewhat unclear, as general body members pointed out that potential loopholes could arise from it — such as trying to take a course abroad and making it pass/fail. That way, students can spend time exploring their new surroundings instead of actually putting effort into their class.

Bonnano briefly introduced the second measure, which will change the incomplete grade policy. Whereas an incomplete grade used to default to an “F” in PAWS, professors can now default to a grade that is not failing.

The responsibility is now on students to reach out to professors if they have legitimate reasons for falling behind on assignments and want to avoid receiving an “F” for their coursework to date.

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