Column: First semester in review

With the first semester of this academic year quickly coming to a close, the Student Association wants to bring you up to speed on what we’ve done, what we’re planning to do and where we are going on issues of academic affairs.

Our year began with a push to get syllabi from academic departments and we have gotten a great response. We intend to pursue the same sort of agenda at the beginning of the spring semester. As you all know, syllabi do not make up the entire file we keep. Tests, review sheets and notes make up the largest component. We have not solicited these files from departments, from schools or from professors. We count on the student body to supplement this part of our file. We do not require you to submit tests when you come to get them, and we do not charge you for the service. We expect students to help each other and submit tests, review sheets and other helpful materials. This file will not expand without the help of everyone. With midterms now complete, we urge you to come by and increase our test files. In the coming months, we will be moving these files to an online format, making them even more accessible to students.

In continuing what has become an SA tradition, we just wrapped up our Coffee with the Deans programs. To call them a success would be an understatement. Our hour-long sessions that – more often than not – went over the prescribed time limits, provided an opportunity for interested students to meet with the dean of their school, other administration members and school faculty. Students and deans had great conversations, and forged important relationships. We plan to build on these relationships and work with each school on student issues in the coming weeks and months.

So what are some tangible things we have done? The SA has been integral in the move toward online course evaluations that you will hear about as the semester comes to a close. The SA has been involved in discussions with administrators and schools concerning the state of the writing program, the School of Media and Public Affairs, Peace Studies program, Earth and Environmental Sciences and German and Slavic Languages. The SA has helped School of Public Health and Human Sciences students with specific concerns and issues they have faced. The SA is going to be looking into the late release of the final exam schedule and registration schedule problems. Above all, the SA is here for you, the student, at all times, and cannot encourage you enough to contact us with anything on your mind. We are here to serve you every day, and look forward to doing so.

-The writer, a junior majoring in political science, is vice president of academic affairs for the Student Association.

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