SGA senate turns down value-added grading system resolution

Sarah Stukenborg

The Student Government Association came down to a close vote on Tuesday over the value-added grading system resolution, but it ultimately didn’t pass. Smithland senior Cory Dodds, SGA president, was disappointed by the decision.

“It’s a real tangible benefit to the student body, because it increases student competitiveness,” Dodds said. “I think it’s a real shame that our senate didn’t see that.”

The value-added grading system resolution was introduced to the SGA and the University Senate by Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, in fall 2012.

The new system would add “plus grades” to some letter grades to allow students to get closer to the next highest grade.

The resolution said according to Emslie, students in the upper half of a letter grade have more in common with a student in the next highest letter grade than the one below.

Some SGA senate members opposed this system because they believed it would allow for grade inflation and it would be less credible for the university.

These SGA members thought it would be best for WKU to add a plus and minus grading system or keep it the way it is.

Somerset freshman Taylor Ruby, a member of the SGA senate, voted against the resolution because he felt that the value-added system would put him at a disadvantage when applying for medical school.

“I think if I was compared to other students, it will appear on paper as they worked harder,” Ruby said. “As of now, we need to stay where we are.”

Only one other university, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville graduate school, has been known to use the value-added grading system.

The Academic Affairs committee of SGA unanimously voted against the system, although they were the sponsors of the resolution.

Lewisport sophomore Cain Alvey, administrative vice president of SGA, was in favor of the resolution.

“I really liked the idea, but I understand the senate’s opinion on it,” Alvey said.

Many of the members in support of the resolution said they supported it because a majority of the student body supported the idea of a value-added grading system.

Although the resolution was not passed, Dodds feels that it is not the end of the value-added grading system idea.

“There could be another resolution that comes up,” Dodds said.