SBA talks grading system, upcoming elections

The 2019-2020 SBA Senate. Photo via SBA on Facebook.

By Blake Weinard, Lifestyle Editor

The Student Bar Association held its final meeting of the year over Teams on March 24. With all the uncertainties surrounding the end of this semester, the SBA has worked hard to bring security to students. Administration, faculty, and the SBA are working together to help students experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Possibly the most poignant topic of discussion at the meeting was the grading system VLS will be adopting for this semester. Students have varying levels of accessibility to academics right now and some feel switching to a pass/fail grading system would be the fairest option for all students. Others feel the traditional grading system should stay in place to maintain grading and class-rank continuity.

Last week, SBA President Raynald “Ray” Carre sent a survey to all students to gather the general opinion of the student body regarding grading. The survey indicated students desired an alternative to the status quo grading system, if only by a small margin. The Faculty will make the final decision on this issue.

The options before the committee include: status quo grading system, student opt-in pall/fail, uniform pass/fail, student opt-in high pass/pass/low/fail pass, or uniform high pass/pass/low pass/fail. The student opt-in options would be on a class by class basis. Dean Shirley Jefferson told the SBA that the committee should get its decision to the students by Friday, Mar. 27.

As the last meeting for this SBA, the topic of elections was central as well. Nominations for positions on the 2020-2021 SBA can be sent to Secretary Laura Keenan by 5 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 27. Elections will be held on TWEN, running Monday, Mar. 30 until Friday, Apr. 3.

The Bylaws Committee submitted bylaws amendments to the Senate for approval to be submitted to the student body on the ballot next week for a final vote. The amendments were described by President Carre and Parliamentarian Elyssa Willadsen as ridding the elections and budget processes of interruptions and creating more communication and governance of student groups. The Senate approved the motion to submit these amendments to the student body and they will appear in full on TWEN next week. In this tumultuous time, the SBA encourages students to participate in the upcoming elections.

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