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Thursday, May 13, 2021

GUR reform, student tech fee committee changes discussed at AS Board meeting

**Editors Note: This story has been changed from its original version. The first version stated the assessment process of GUR reform would begin at the end of winter quarter, but did not clearly state the GUR task force has already begun fall quarter, 2015. 

Starting this fall, the Western Front’s will keep students in the loop with a weekly round-up of deals and decisions discussed at Associated Students Board meetings.


The Round-Up for Wednesday, Oct.14:

At the AS Board of Directors meeting, board members discussed a process to assess AS programs and offices, changes in academic requirements and the search for students to form a committee to help choose Western’s new president.

Some of the most significant updates from the meeting are related to GUR reform and grade replacement, said Zachary Dove, vice president for academic affairs.

Though no decisions have yet been made, the GUR task force, made up of five students, will begin debating and constructing options to present to the campus community by the end of winter quarter. After this, an assessment process of approval and scrutiny by students and faculty will discuss the merits of each option, Dove said during the meeting.

Currently, Western’s grade replacement policy means that if a student retakes a course, the average of the two grades will be on the transcript, he said.

Western is one of only a few universities who has a policy like this, but an academic committee is considering changing the policy so that the new course grade would replace the previous, he said.

This would likely be enacted next year and they are considering a multi-year phase in, he said.

While many things don’t change within AS committees, this year the focus is on modifying the Student Technology Fee committee to make it more student-oriented, said Abby Ramos, AS vice president for diversity.

“Whatever the scale of the decision, it affects [students] somehow,” Ramos said. “As a student, you are officially part of the Associated Students, even if you don’t take on that identity.”

As of now, faculty members sit on the student tech fee committee and to help recommend tech initiatives to the University President and AS president.

There are still many openings still on this committee, and many other AS committees and the board of directors is focused on getting students involved in these processes, AS Vice President of Business and Operations Hannah Brock said.

“We really want to make sure that student voices are being heard on these committees,” Brock said. “They have a huge impact and it’s really important to get student involvement.”

Other points discussed at the meeting:

  • The board of directors also decided which student nominations for the Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be sent to the Board of Trustees.
  • The AS’s internal assessment process, the Structural Programs Advisory Committee (SPAC), evaluates AS programs and offices every four years, Brock said. This process considers everything from positions, workload and programs that are put on, and makes suggestions, Brock said.



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