The Arizona Desert Lamp

ASUA Meeting IX

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 23 October 2008

For some reason, I was under the impression that as the year progressed, the meetings would become more and more substantive, with committees being formed and campaign platforms coming to fruition. Yet, with few exceptions, the meetings have in fact gone the other direction. Fewer items are debated on the floor, fewer presentations are made, and Senate reports are increasingly substance-free.

This week, we had one main issue brought up: the new Code of Academic Integrity, as presented by Keith Humphrey, Associate Dean of Students (also, curiously, the interim director of LGBTQ Affairs as well). In his presentation, he outlined the major changes, all of which erred on the side of the students. Among these changes:

-Faculty must now give students plenty of advance notice of a charge against them.

-If a faculty member does not initiate action on a perceived academic violation within a certain time-frame (which was not specified at the meeting), then the faculty member can no longer act on the perceived violation. This proposal was recommended by Sen. Jason Mighdoll.

– For severe academic violations, resulting in suspension or expulsion, an automatic appeal process had been added.

-The Code now addresses violations during pre-session, summer, and winter classes.

The Code has yet to be released to the general public, so how “student-friendly” the new proposal actually is has yet to be ascertained; yet if Humphrey’s presentation can be trusted, it seems that the scales have tipped heavily in favor of the students. Naturally, the Senate was in favor of this proposal. What I’m more curious to see is how the Faculty Senate reacts to this proposal. There’s clearly an argument to be made that this makes it increasingly harder for faculty members to punish students who have cheated in their class. Again, though, more analysis forthcoming with the public release.

In which the Desert Lamp is obliquely referenced?

I don’t want to overstate my case here, but on October 2 I made the following statement after the ASUA meeting:

Also, as far as transparency goes, it appears that the minutes are recorded on Garage Band. Any reason why these couldn’t be broadcast via ITunes, in podcast form?

This was a follow-up to a September 30 post regarding the general opaqueness of ASUA, and the bureaucratic rigamarole required to obtain ASUA minutes.

Anyways, during her Senate report, Sen. Fritize mentioned that it would be a good idea to have a podcast of the Senate meetings, which would be put on the ASUA website. She noted that there wouldn’t be a ton of students watching these podcasts, but that it nevertheless sends “a good message of being open,” and would be a good resource for students to have at their disposal.

I couldn’t agree more. Right now, Sen. Fritze says that she’s the only one working on this. I’m irrationally excited that this might actually happen this semester, which would be a definite step forward for ASUA.

Speaking of things that might happen this semester, Sen. Fritze also noted in her report that the Collegiate Readership Program may be implementing a pilot program before the end of the semester. Two cheers for Sen. Fritze!

If any ASUA members, associates, etc. do happen to read this site, don’t be afraid to put your two cents in! This site was established to improve the level of conversation regarding the UA; the more information and ideas we have, the better off we are in the long run. Also, tell your friends to check it out.

(/end shameless plug)

ASUA will also be hosting a mixer for potential candidates this coming spring on November 20. Readers, if any of you have even jokingly considered going out, I strongly encourage that you do so. If there’s any chance for reform within ASUA, it will require candidates who come from outside the usual groups of people that run.


3 Responses

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  1. […] were released online, but I digress. (Besides, it does sound like at least one Senator is moving towards making this a reality — Sen. Fritze alluded to speaking with a tech figure about implementing […]

  2. […] that front. We’d like a little more transparency when it comes to the UA budget, a cause long advocated by the Lamp. But when it comes to fees, student leaders can take action […]

  3. […] then, Sen. Emily Fritze has made some gestures towards increasing transparency, in the form of podcasts. Foolishly I hoped that such transparency might be enacted by semester’s end – I was young! I […]

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