Since January, the Student Union has pursued countless new campus-wide initiatives and has committed itself to reforming its internal policies to streamline governance and improve accountability procedures. The Union is poised to continue this semester’s success into the 2019-2020 academic year.

The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has been involved with a significant amount of work that directly impacts the student academic experience. Two notable projects that have passed through the UCC and are now in the hands of the faculty to vote on are extending the pass/fail declaration deadline and refining repeated course grading policies. Previously, the pass/fail decision deadline was situated during the second week of the academic year. Under the new policy, the pass/fail decision deadline will be coupled with the drop deadline, in the sixth and seventh weeks of the academic year. Extending the deadline allows students who are interested in engrossing themselves in advanced coursework in their field or exploring courses outside of their wheelhouse to do so and get adequate graded feedback before determining if they need to expend one of their four pass/fail options on the course. Furthermore, repeated course grading policy, has been revised to ensure the policy is consistent with repeated course policies at other institutions of higher education and to make the policy more favorable to students. Under the previous policy, a repeated course will appear on a student’s transcript, but the grade of the repeated course would not count towards their GPA; only the grade received from the first iteration of the course would be calculated. The new policy rectifies this grossly unfair practice. Only the superior of the two grades will be factored into a student’s final GPA.

Other notable policies considered by the UCC include creating a COSI 10a course for students with no background in computer science and eliminating COSI 11a, approving several new study abroad programs and reviewing Independent Interdisciplinary Major faculty support guidelines.

Students have a strong voice in the decisions of the UCC on behalf of their elected representatives. We will continue to propose academic policies intended to benefit the student body. Academic affairs in general will be in good hands under the newly elected Union Executive board.