SGA steps up opposition to plus/minus

Lindsey Reed

The Student Government Association has passed legislation opposing the plus/minus grading system, and now members say they’re willing to go further.

SGA President John Bradley said last night that they will be using all their possible tools, including a rally and meeting with university donors, to make sure that the plus/minus grading proposal will not pass.

“Student government is going to pull out all the stops,” he said.

Bradley said a student rally is being planned for Nov. 20 at the Garrett Center just before the University Senate meeting, if SGA can get it approved from Howard Bailey, dean of Student Life.

Bradley said SGA is also in conversation with legal counsel.

SGA members will meet with administrators to express their concerns if they can’t persuade the senate to vote down the proposal, Bradley said.

If the senate passes the proposal, it would have to go to Provost Barbara Burch for final approval.

Bradley said he will meet with donors to discuss the issue.

“Our intention is not to get them involved with internal issues,” he said. “Our intention is to let them know how we feel.”

Bradley said donors are a part of Western and have interests in the decision on campus.

Tom Hiles, vice president for Institutional Advancement, said students aren’t prohibited from contacting donors.

“I hope that they will use good judgment in their communication,” Hiles said.

Bradley said SGA is talking to legal counsel because concerns are raised by such a drastic change in the course catalog.

General Counsel Deborah Wilkins said the undergraduate catalog states that the university can change curriculum and academic policies at anytime.

SGA unanimously passed legislation on Oct. 14 opposing the plus/minus grading system.

Economics professor Brian Strow, who proposed the plan in senate on Thursday, said he thinks it is unfortunate that some students are taking such a strong stand against the system because it is not designed to hurt students.

Data shows that GPAs do not drastically change, but student effort can be increased through the system, he said.

“I stand behind the proposal’s merits, ” he said.

Reach Lindsey Reed at [email protected]