During their weekly meeting on April 7, members of Student Government (SG) gave feedback on multiple proposals and gave their support to actions in Congress, while also welcoming those taking part in the April 15 election.
Dr. Matthew Wund, a professor of biology and chair of the Committee of Faculty Affairs (CFA), asked for feedback on a proposal to change the advisor assessment that the College takes part in. In 2016, the governance committees at the College created a policy that required the College to assess advising, whether it be from academic advisors or from staff and faculty in general. How the assessment would take place was not specified.
“For various reasons, we never came up with a way to assess advising, so it’s fallen to our committee to come up with a recommendation,” Wund told SG. Currently, the College uses a survey called the National Survey for Student Engagement that takes place every three years and is intended for freshmen and seniors.
CFA’s proposal is that the College should continue to use the survey, implement a similar survey for faculty members and have each school create specific surveys that fit their needs. Wund informed SG that CFA has not yet discussed how data would be shared, but that multiple suggestions were given by students.
Dr. Tracy Kress, an associate professor of biology and chair of the Committee of Academic Programs (CAP), then informed SG about a recommendation the committee was considering.
The recommendation is a proposed change to the Community Engaged Learning program that creates lower-level classes that incorporate community service hours, changes IDS 103 and paves a way for students to work with professors to implement community service hours into the curriculum similar to the Honors-by-Contract program.
In the 2020-21 academic year, a pilot program took place in IDS 103 classes where students spent four class sessions learning about Community Engaged Learning and then reflecting on the service project they completed. “The feedback on the piloted experience was very positive from both a student perspective and from a faculty/staff perspective,” Kress reported. “CAP recommends that this just be the normal model going forward.”
Also during the meeting, SG passed two resolutions expressing support for congressional legislation that would create the United States Commision on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation and legislation that would change the structure of the State Department to institutionalize and support youths in other countries.
In the SG constitution, resolutions are required to be debated on, but no students spoke out against these.
This General Body meeting was also the one election candidates were required to attend to understand how SG works on a basic level. Campaigning for the spring election started on April 8 as dozens of students created Instagram posts to promote their image and try to persuade students to vote for them. The election will take place on April 15 through a Qualtrics form that will be sent in a campus-wide email.