Western Courier

SGA debates grading policy bills

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Amanda Wrenn debate legislation on the Student Government Association floor pertaining to participation and attendance policies in the classroom on Tuesday night.

Amanda Wrenn debate legislation on the Student Government Association floor pertaining to participation and attendance policies in the classroom on Tuesday night.

Josh Purnell/ Courier Staff

Josh Purnell/ Courier Staff

Amanda Wrenn debate legislation on the Student Government Association floor pertaining to participation and attendance policies in the classroom on Tuesday night.

Marc Ramirez, Courier Staff

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During Tuesday, Feb. 6, the Legislative body of Western Illinois University’s Student Government Association (SGA) discussed College of Business and Technology Senator Amanda Wrenn’s proposal of two bills. The bills pertained to student attendance policies and class participation affecting students grades.

When Wrenn was asked to explain what the current attendance policies at Western look like, she responded that they have are not regulated and are problematic.

“As far as I’m aware, teachers can make any attendance policy they want as long as they ask the chair of the department for permission, but sometimes they don’t so it depends on the teachers to what the attendance policy is,” Wrenn said. “Not all instructors do it, but enough of them have done it for it to become a problem.”

SGA Bill 2017-2018.004 reads, “Many students have made it known that they view some class attendance policies and grades attached to attendance as excessive, over-reaching, or unfair.”

Wrenn said the purpose of her bill was to open up the discussion and make the faculty aware that this is a problem.

When asked where she received the evidence specifying policies Wrenn stated that she had primarily taken student perspectives into account when authoring the bill.

“Us in ourselves can’t enact this without discussion between faculty and ourselves.” said Madison Lynn, Director of Academic Affairs, during discussion.

Lynn suggested that the legislative body should get the discussion started with faculty rather than basing it solely off of student comments, so that it would be more likely to result in change.

“The discussion between faculty and students is necessary,” Lynn said.

Some members of the Student Government Association stated their uncertainties with the proposal. During the meeting, it was brought up that some people do not wish to offend faculty members who do not fall under this umbrella statement.

Others stated that the the wording of the resolution is flawed due to faculty members deciding if attendance policies are reasonable or not.

Corbin-Olson Senator Shayd Laye suggested a friendly amendment during the discussion.

“(We should) change the wording to include that we are willing to work with the faculty to review these clauses so that we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Wrenn accepted the motion.

“If we are asking them to make a change to their policies and the way they do their occupation we should be willing to work with them.”

Maddie Henizer, Senate Clerk, brought to the floor that the survey size pertaining to the bill wasn’t substantial enough to represent the student body.

“We should maybe do more studies,” Heinzer said. “Right now this is at a smaller scope and I feel that this could open us up to criticism, so if we do a larger study I do think this could bring more weight about education quality overall.”

With this, the Student Government Association took a vote to table both of the bills until more concrete, significant sufficient data could be recorded. The agreement to table was based on a vote of 18:1:1, prior to any discussion of bill 2017-2018.005, which pertains to participation policies.

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SGA debates grading policy bills